Fancy learning to play the drums and joining Batala Mersey?

Have you always wanted to play the drums? A 60-piece community drumming group in Liverpool is looking for new members to join them this Autumn.


Batala Mersey play an upbeat style of Afro-Brazilian samba-reggae that originated in Salvador da Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

The group is part of an international network founded by Bahian percussionist Giba Gonçalves with a worldwide membership of over 1,000 drummers across the UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Creta, Poland, Geneva, USA, Mexico, Guadeloupe, Australia and Brazil.

The music is beaten out on four different types of drum – dobra, surdo (bass), caixa (snare) and repinique. The result is a raw, hypnotic combination of emotion, beats and rhythm which always gets the crowds dancing along.

Batala Mersey performed at events in Liverpool and the North West, including Africa Oyé, Brazilica Festival, Liverpool FC, Scouse5K, the Albert Dock, LightNight, Liverpool Pride, the National Diversity Awards, Carfest and the ICC Cricket World Cup. Members also have the opportunity to drum with the international groups at events like Notting Hill Carnival, Salvador Carnaval, Mexico Day of the Dead and Fête de la Musique.

The Liverpool band’s line-up features players from all walks of life – some work in engineering, construction, education, health, finance or tourism, while others are students, retired, or full-time parents. The unifying strand is that everyone is passionate about the music and committed to help each other as a team. You don’t have to be able to read music and no previous drumming experience is necessary, so anybody over 18 can join the ‘newbie school’ intakes during the off-peak season in Autumn.

Jen Horton, Band Caller, says: “Batala provides amazing opportunities to drum, travel and make new friends around the world. The band does a lot of work in our own community as well and we enjoy supporting local charities and fundraisers as much as possible. Many of our current members joined the band with no previous experience of drumming. What you do need is commitment, a positive attitude and respect for others. We’re an inclusive organisation run by volunteers and we encourage applications from all members of the community.”

Batala Mersey are holding a free taster session in Liverpool on the evening of Wednesday 9th October 2019 for anybody interested in joining the group.

For more information and to sign-up, visit  www.batalamersey.com/joinus 


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