“Sambangra have been a shining fixture of Manchester’s music scene since 1997… A large and ever-changing line-up of talented musicians and vocalists serve up a breathtaking show, based around spectacular percussion from every corner of the world.” Ally Fogg, The Big Issue in the North
The very best Bhangra / Samba-Hip-Hop fusion band in the galaxy. Mind-expanding music with a massive percussion section. This is the real thing – uncut – an unforgettable show is guaranteed.
“Sambangra’s fusion of disparate music from opposite sides of the world was far more than just a fascinating curiosity… a hypnotic, thundering performance.” -Chris Lee, Manchester Evening News
Sambangra were formed around a core of professional musicians in 1997 for the BBC ‘Music Live’ Festival. In January 1998 we opened up our membership, and we now have up to twenty community drummers supplementing the core band. Sambangra released a CD single, ‘Charaag’ in January 2001, and their first full length CD, called ‘SAMBANGRA’ in December 2003.
“A great band!” – the late, truly great, Ananda Shankar.
Our unique new fusion of Asian, Brazilian and African styles uses Samba percussion plus djembes, dohls, talking drum, dohlak etc. in a range of formats from street band to stage band with bass, keyboards, strings, reeds, vocals and guests (we recently began a collaboration with London based Asian classical flautist Haider Rehman, and we are also working with Sufi singers from Pakistan). The Sambangra line-up currently includes musicians who have worked with such diverse artists as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Sir Elton John, Moby, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Bill Laswell, Lemn Sissay, Nitin Sawhney, and Jah Wobble.
We’ve performed at festivals and carnivals, clubs, theatres and dancehalls all over the UK and Ireland; performed in Paris as part of the Millennium celebrations; processed twice with Inishowen Carnival group playing Sambangra rhythms in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin; and performed on TV and at the Commonwealth Stadium as part of the 2002 Games in Manchester. Our first CD has had airplay on BBC 1, BBC 2, and BBC 3, as well as BBC and local radio stations.
“Drumming for the new millennium.” Howard Jacobsen, Independent Review.
Sambangra recently collaborated with the Bakshi Javed Salamat group from Pakistan. This show, called Samsalamat, featured Qawwali, South Asian Classical and other styles blended with Sambangra’s Afro-Brazilian/Asian percussion grooves.
Samsalamat received ecstatic responses from crowds wherever they performed, including many thousands who gathered at the Main Stage for the climax of the London Mela. Other Samsalamat performances were at Manchester Mega Mela; Streets of Brighton Festival; Manchester’s ‘Garden of Delights’ Festival; Hebden Bridge Trades & Labour Club; Radcliffe Hall, in Bury and the UK/Asian Business Federation in Bolton.
Sambangra are always interested in exploring new collaborations and also offer workshops of the highest standard in Brazilian, Cuban & African percussion, adaptable to suit a range of participants from young beginners to advanced students and professional musicians.