Batalá New York
We are an all-female percussion ensemble playing Afro-Brazilian music, primarily Samba Reggae, originating in Bahia.
Batalá New York is a chapter of the global arts project known as Batalá Mundo, made up of over 30 bands around the world with a common repertoire of music from Salvador da Bahia in northeastern Brazil and compositions by Mestre Giba Gonçalves.
Led by Musical Directors Laura Torell and Deinya Phenix, the women of Batalá New York bring a high energy, visually stimulating performance of Afro-Brazilian music and choreography to a variety of audiences. As an all-female and female-led banda de percussao (percussion-based band) of 45 members, Batala promotes Afro-Brazilian culture and female empowerment through the performance of the drum, a traditionally male instrument. Batalá has maintained a presence in New York since 2012 and has recently grown into a registered nonprofit organization with the support of friends, partnering organizations, and members of the arts community in New York. The band has inspired and trained women of diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. Our drummers have traveled nationally and internationally to perform in global events such as Carnaval in Salvador, Notting Hill Carnival, Dia de Los Muertos festival in Mexico City, and Carlinhos Brown’s Afrodromo. In New York, we have played for the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Tour, at the Mayoral Reception for the US Women's National Soccer Team, on Saturday Night Live performing with Disclosure and Lorde, in the live world premiere of Sunny Jain’s 100+BPM for National Public Radio, with Kiran Ghandi as part of the third annual Oxfam Jam benefit concert, and in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.