Dubbed ‘the West Coast’s hottest Brazilian band’ by promoters, journalists and fans, SambaDá sonically unites the Americas with an amalgamation of musical styles and genres from across the continents delivered with a soulful fervor that gets audiences dancing. Steeped in the rich musical traditions of Brazil, the group also weaves in influences from salsa and cumbia and blends them playfully with funk and reggae beats in a unique musical sound with universal appeal. Brazil-natives Papiba Godinho (cavaco, guitar, percussion, lead vocals) and Dandha da Hora (percussion, lead vocals) bring profound knowledge and respect for Brazilian music and culture, and along with the rest of the band they create their signature infectiously danceable sound. Godinho is a master of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art form that draws on music and acrobatic movements, and da Hora was born into the carnival group Ilê Aiyê and started her dancing career at age six. Together they bring vibrant visual complements to their live performances. The other members of SambaDá come from a wide range of styles, generations and sensibilities that round out their sound with something for everyone. SambaDá was formed in Santa Cruz, California in 1998 by Godinho, Anne Stafford (saxophone, flute, clarinet) and Gary Kehoe (drums), conquering clubs and festivals across the country with their explosive Carnival-like performances. Today, along with bassist Etienne Franc and percussionists Will Bates-Minou and Ibou N’gom, SambaDá is delivering its high-energy percussion, upbeat grooves and visually dynamic show to delighted audiences across the nation.
Described by PopMatters as “what every good band needs to be... breathless party music brought to you by craftspeople and artists,” SambaDá has received glowing coverage from outlets including the Financial Times, Sacramento Bee, Afrobeat Blog and Maximum Ink. No stranger to Levitt stages, SambaDá thrilled concerts at 2008 and 2011 performances at the Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles and in 2016 as part of the Levitt AMP Carson City music series. Their latest album, Ritual, was released in 2015 to rave reviews.