Missing the sounds of Batala

D.C. is eerily quiet these days, and one of the sounds we miss the most is the vibrant drumming of Batala, heard at almost all D.C. festivals, marches, and parades.

©Miki Jourdan

Batala’s mission is “to empower women through drumming and expose people to Brazil’s dynamic Afro­ Bahian culture and Samba ­Reggae music.” It’s a non-profit organization that is free for members. Batala started in Paris in 1997, and the D.C. branch started in 2007. There are now 30 Batala groups around the world.

Their unique sound has echoed through the D.C. streets as they lead off at many events. Here are just a few times we have seen them:

Mardi Gras at The Wharf

©Miki Jourdan
©Miki Jourdan
©Karen Ramsey

Krampus on H St. NE

©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

Funk Parade

©Karen Ramsey
©Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering

The original Funk Parade in 2014

©Victoria Pickering

Barack’s Row Fall Festival

©Karen Ramsey
©Karen Ramsey

Art All Night

©Victoria Pickering

Chinese New Year

©Victoria Pickering

Women’s March

©Miki Jourdan
©Karen Ramsey
©Victoria Pickering

Rally against gender violence

©Karen Ramsey
©Karen Ramsey

Words Beats & Life Paint Jam

©Victoria Pickering

AIDS March

©Victoria Pickering

As you can see, they are absolutely everywhere!

If you are missing their sound

Here’s a great summary video that Batala put together:

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