The African Djembe Drums date back to 500 A.D and have maintained their meaning and significance through to the 21st Century, despite dramatic changes in technology, culture and politics. These drums are a key ingredient in all types of ceremony and celebration such as births, deaths and marriages – some say the origin came from “Dje” meaning gather, and “Be” meaning everyone. The Djembe drummer may change the rhythm to inform the other instrumentalists of what they should be playing. Drumming performances go hand in hand with traditional ritual dances and can evoke strong emotions. For this reason they are used to empower and inspire. Taking a step back, these highly influential drums were also used to communicate with other tribes and signal meetings or danger.
The Brazilian Samba stems from ‘Lundu’ and ‘ Jongo’, forms of Afro-Brazilian music and dance. Samba as we know it today grew from the favelas and slums of Rio de Janeiro inhabited by black slaves from the Bahia region. It is tradition in Rio de Janeiro for samba schools to include a section that consists of older black women dressed in white, lace-fitted folk costumes of Bahia, to pay tribute to the roots and origin of Samba music. Carnivals are at the heart of the tradition, with the first one starting in 1723. The Samba is more than just music, it is a dance and way of celebration.