Countdown to July 4th: The origins of Afro-Bloc

For our 2013 July 4th Spectacular, the EEDS bateria will be playing two arrangements: our 2013 samba-enredo, O Amanhã, as well as “Afro Bloc.” While Afro Bloc is based on samba-reggae rhythms from Bahia in northeastern Brazil, the arrangement is actually Irish: it was taught to us by our good friends and partners at the MaSamba Samba School of Dublin, Ireland and its director, Simeon Smith, when they visited EEDS in Chicago in October 2011. Since then, Afro Bloc has become one of our favorite pieces, featuring a heavy surdo section and some sophisticated breaks that make it a real crowd pleaser. You can watch Afro Bloc in action, featuring Simeon and MaSamba, here:

We’re happy to continue our transatlantic partnership with our Irish friends, and to feature this piece at our 4th of July Spectacular. And we wish them a huge congratulations at a major upcoming gig: performing for the President of Ireland on July 6!

EEDS, Masamba, ODS and friends

EEDS, MaSamba, ODS and friends