By Emily Misencik ’14
On Saturday, May 5, The 6th Annual Samba Fest will take place at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brazilian and Connecticut artists join forces at this free admission event, encouraging individuals and families to attend and partake in the various events throughout the day. The festival will occur rain or shine.
Associate Professor of Music, Eric Galm, conceived and produces the annual Samba Fest. Galm states, “Vibrant, live music and dance is a way that we can learn about our hemisphere and its history. Highlighting these connections throughout the African diaspora in the Americas enables us to understand house James Brown, bomba, samba, and salsa move and groove together,” indicating the purpose behind the annual Hartford festival. Numerous musical and dance groups are scheduled to perform at this year’s festival, including Brazil’s Berimbrown with special guest Dinho Nascimento from Bahia. This is Berimbrown’s third consecutive performance at Samba Fest, as both Berimbrown and Nascimento are praised for their innovative blends of North American and sound with historic Brazilian musical references. Various local musical groups are also scheduled to perform, including The Trinity Samba Ensemble, who will be joined by Brazilian vocalist Jose Paulo. Conjunto Antilleano, conducted by trumpeter and salsa bandleader Ray Gonzalez, will perform along with Hartford’s Negrura Peruana. The Williamantic-base Bomba Ashe will also perform quintessential Puerto Rican fork music for the attendees.
Samba Fest also incorporates various local dance groups. New Haven’s Ginga Brasileria will demonstrate capoeira, Afro-Brazilian martial art, and maculele, also referred to as the “stick dance.” The Artists Collective African Connection Dance and Drum Ensemble will perform West African dances, while JuggleJoy teaches circus-oriented based activities and skills throughout the festival. Trinity College students have also donated their time to run craft activities and games areas for children.
The 6th Annual Samba Fest is supported by the City of Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program, Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor; Greater Hartford Arts Council; Trinity College’s Austin Arts Center Guest Artist Series, Department of Music, Center for Urban and Global Studies Art Initiative, offices of Community Relations, Multicultural Affairs, and Campus Life, Trinfo. Café, and WRTC 89.3 FM. Addition support is provided by the UConn Center For Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Governo de Minas/Programma Musica Minas, and the Consulate General of Brazil. For directions and parking information and additional information about the music and participating artists, visit sambafest.com. General information can also be found by calling 860-297-2199.