BATALÁ Los Angeles is an Afro-Brazilian
Samba Reggae performance group led by Mario Pallais.
BATALA LOS ANGELES
Batalá Los Angeles is part of the larger internationally recognized Samba Reggae family created in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves. Batalá Los Angeles was founded in 2013 by Musical Director, Mario Pallais.
The community-based Afro-Brazilian percussion group is open to all regardless of musical or performance experience!
Batalá—an international samba reggae performance group—was founded in Paris in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves, a Bahian percussionist (Ilê Aiyê, Olodum, Muzenza, Male Debale, Jimmy Cliff, Tupi Nago, and Kaoma).
One of the founders of the Afro Bloco Cortejo Afro, an arts education project to help underserved young people living in poor communities, Gonçalves moved to Paris in 1997 and founded Batalá as the European wing of the project. Today, Batalá Paris is the oldest of all the international Batala contingents.
Cortejo Afro and Batalá share much of the same repertoire and since 1999, Batalá groups have performed every year at the Salvador’s carnaval as part of Cortejo Afro.
From its inception in Paris, individual Batalá organizations have sprung up all over the globe in countries as diverse as Brazil, England, Spain, Wales, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Angola, South Africa, and The Netherlands.
In the United States, Batalá Washington DC was founded in 2007 and Batalá New York City was established in 2011. A few years later Batalá Houston, Batalá San Francisco and Batalá Los Angeles were established.
The international movement shares the samba reggae musical arrangements and percussion breaks composed by Gonçalves, graphics, costumes, and dance movements.
With a worldwide membership of over 800 drummers, the shared musical and artistic models facilitates the various groups to travel from country to country and participate in events together.
Batalá drums, sticks and mallets, drum straps, and costumes are produced in Salvador at Instituto Oya and Fabrica Batalá under a fair trade agreement.
The name Batalá carries a double reference to the phrase “bateu lá,” meaning “hit there” in Portuguese and to Obatalá (Oxalá), the Candomblé diety who is the father of the Orixas and of all humanity. Draped in the purity of white, Obatalá is the source of all that is peaceful and compassionate.