Sam Alexander Masterclass at Beat Carnival Centre

Sam Alexander leading drum workshop

Beatndrum Samba Band had a fantastic weekend working with Sam Alexander at the Beat Carnival Centre, joined by drumming friends from across Ireland - Chidambaram Samba (Belfast), MaSamba Samba School (Dublin), The Streetwise Samba Band (Belfast), Morro 16 (Dublin), The Exhausted Farmers (Fermanagh), Samboeire SambaBand (Sligo) and City of Belfast School of Music were all represented.

We endeavour to bring world class tutors to Belfast in order to develop the skills of the many already talented percussionists that live here. Sam certainly fit the bill and was very generous with the knowledge he imparted, teaching the language of afro-Brazilian music and how percussionists should strive to communicate whilst playing.

"Having worked with Sam on a number of occasions, Damian and myself were keen to bring him to Belfast so people here could learn from his method of teaching. I find the way he arranges pieces very satisfying to play. They feel full, developed and authentic. It was great to have someone with 30 years' experience in the UK scene teaching in Belfast, somebody that can explain the rich traditions behind the music and make it relevant in Belfast! Also I got a real thrill to see some of our newer players with little hand drum experience, comfortably playing two congas in Saturday night's mas samba jam!" Matt VernonBEATnDRUM leader

Matt Curry of Bluebird Media captured the action for us; watch Sam and our drummers at play here. A massive thanks to Sam and to all who took part!

If this kind of thing sounds like your cup of tea, you should come and try your hand at some carnival percussion with us. We rehearse on Thursday nights 6-8pm at the Beat Carnival Centre on Boyd Street (beside Belfast Metropolitan College's Millfield campus, opposite CastleCourt.) We're currently hard at work rehearsing for our Beat Made in Belfast Carnival, but will be opening again to new members at the end of September. Like our BEATnDRUM Facebook page for news and info.