EEDS’ 4th of July Parade is Almost Here!

Can you believe that it almost July 4th? We certainly can’t!  But we have been practicing hard, and we are ready! We would love it if you could join us at the parade – it starts at 2 PM on Saturday, July 4th on Central street in Evanston, and all are welcome. Show your support and RSVP on Facebook!

The theme of our parade this year, based on the official Evanston 4th of July theme, is “Four Seasons of Evanston’s Trees.” Thanks to our successful Kickstarter we are really able to make this theme a reality! We have also been working very hard to perfect our performance. Over the past 2 weeks we held 2 open rehearsals, where both dancers and percussionists rehearsed together. We are so excited for the 4th and can’t wait to share pictures of our final parade with you!


EEDS Open Rehearsal Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24!

Evanston Escola de Samba is just two weeks away from its annual 4th of July Spectacular! To prepare, EEDS will hold an Open Rehearsal on Wednesday, June 24, from 7-9pm at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (4048 W Armitage in Chicago). Please RSVP on our facebook event page! It will be a chance for both dancers and percussionists to practice for the parade and have some fun! We will even have some costume pieces for sale. Even if you are not planning on participating in the parade, you are invited to attend and bring a friend.
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Class with Jimmy Biala and Final Day for Kickstarter


This Wednesday EEDS has a special opportunity! Friend of EEDS and master percussionist Jimmy Biala will be leading a special percussion class. Jimmy joined us for our 4th of July parade in past years and are happy to have him in town again. We are going to learn some new rhythms and will also be perfecting our bateria techniques. Instruments will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own as well. All are welcome. Invite your friends!

When: Wednesday, June 17, 7-9pm, Please RSVP on our Facebook Event page!
Where: SRBCC (4048 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL)
Cost: $15 for the public, $10 for EEDS members
Ages: 16+

Today is also the final day to support our Kickstarter – help us make a final push!

Final Call to Support EEDS’ Kickstarter!

Thank you to all our friends and supporters who have contributed to and shared our 4th of July Parade Kickstarter so far! There are only 5 days to go, and a lot of work left to do to reach our goal. If we do not raise $2,300 we don’t receive any of the contributions. You can contribute any amount, and receive some pretty cool EEDS swag, too! Please also share our Kickstarter link on social media if you can:

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Your donations go toward parade materials, costumes for the dancers and percussionists, payment for the teachers, as well as scholarships for members who can’t afford full-priced summer-session classes. You can also be a part of EEDS by joining us for percussion classes at 4048 West Armitage, Chicago, IL every Wednesday night from 7-8:30. All are welcome to join these drop-in classes, and you can then play in the parade! Hope to see you there, and thanks again for your support!

Help make the 2015 EEDS samba parade a reality!


Alô Comunidade! As you all know, Evanston Escola de Samba’s annual 4th of July samba parade is on the horizon (less than 2 months to go)! YOU can help us put on our best parade ever by contributing to our 2015 Kickstarter campaign! Thanks to your generosity in 2014 we were able to put on a great parade, our biggest yet, with over 100 performers. This year, we are also celebrating our recent win of “Best Cultural Institution” at the 2015 Brazilian International Press Awards.

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We have until June 15 to raise the $2,300 needed for our float materials, parade costumes, and student scholarships to participate in the parade. We’ll even say “thank you!” with some great EEDS swag. Please share our Kickstarter fundraising link with your friends and thanks for the support!

Recap of the 2015 Brazilian International Press Awards

This past weekend board members Lindsay Fullerton and Matthew Rarey attended the Brazilian International Press Awards on behalf of Evanston Escola de Samba, which was named “Best Cultural Institution.” The awards were held on May 9th at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. The night began when Matt was interviewed live on the Brazilian television network Globo! During the event, we took pictures and live tweeted, and you can see what we wrote on Twitter and Instagram for more detailed coverage.EEDSInterviewCarlos Borges, the founder of Focus Brazil and organizer of the awards, introduced the ceremony. Throughout the night there were appearances by a range of TV personalities and even the Brazilian Consul in Miami. There were over 20 categories or awards including best male and female singers, best event, best theater production, best visual artist, beat athlete and many more.CarlosBorgesThe awards were announced in groups, in between which were performances by musical artists who also won awards. Each of these artists performed songs in tribute to acclaimed Axé singer Daniela Mercury, who sat in the front row throughout the ceremony.DanielaMercuryMatt accepted EEDS’ award for  “Best Cultural Institution,” (in Portuguese) and stressed the importance of arts education. The two special awards of the night, and the last to be announced, were for Lifetime Achievement awards for actor Tony Ramos and Daniela Mercury.WinnersThese two lifetime achievement awards were at the end, and were highly anticipated. Daniela Mercury even performed a small concert after accepting her award, which was a nice surprise. Finally, all of the winners went up on stage and joined Daniela Mercury in singing the Brazilian National Anthem. We are so happy that representatives from EEDS were able to accept this honor in person. Thank you to the Brazilian International Press for recognizing us with this honor!Winner

EEDS is going to Miami!


Big News – 2 EEDS board members will be going to Miami this weekend to accept EEDS’ 2015 International Brazilian Press Award for “Best Cultural Organization” in the US. The Ceremony is going to be held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. This is a big accomplishment for our organization, so thank you all for being a part of it! Pictures and updates to follow the event! Come to class this Wednesday at the SRBCC, 4048 W. Armitage – (Drop in class is $12) to give us a sendoff!

EEDS Percussion classes will be held every Wednesday

That’s right – after a successful Carnaval, and an awesome workshop with Dana Monteiro of Harlem Samba, our next session of EEDS percussion classes is about to begin. This time we are doing things a bit differently. Instead of breaking up into sessions, we will be having classes every Wednesday from now until July 4th!


Dates: Every Wednesday (unless otherwise noted)
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4048 W Armitage, Chicago
Instructor: Reed Flygt
Description: In this class, students will learn Rio-style percussion techniques and patterns in preparation for our major 4th of July Parade. Every week is a drop in – so join us as often as you can. Instruments will be provided! All levels welcome!
If you have any questions contact Reed Flygt (
$12 per class OR buy 10 classes for $100 and get a class card that will be marked for each class you take. Pay by cash, check or by credit card on our Paypal Donation Page. If you buy a class card, you will receive it on the first day of class.

Percussion Workshop with Harlem Samba director Dana Monteiro April 8th

EEDS is very happy to be hosting a samba percussion workshop with Harlem Samba director Dana Monteiro. Mr. Monteiro has fourteen years teaching experience in the New York Public School system and is a doctoral candidate in Music Education at Boston University.

The workshop will be open to all and instruments will be provided. Come join us! More info here:

When: 7-9 PM Wednesday, April 8th
Where: Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (4048 W. Armitage)
How much: $15 cash or check

Check out some more of the Harlem Samba repertoire here:

Thanks for a great 2015 EEDS Carnaval!


Another Carnaval for the record books! We hope you had as much fun as we did.  Thanks to all of our wonderful performers who helped make the night so special!

  • Mestre Jorge Alabê – thank you for sharing your time and talent
  • International Capoeira Angola Foundation
  • Contemporary Music Project
  • Dill Costa and passistas:  Trish Carolan, Uyshica Brown, Erica Johnson, Tania Daley, and Jean Fitzgerald
  • Dance lessons and performances by Ariel Barbick, Etienne Montanez and Cristina Grieco
  • American Association of Brazilian Candomblé and Culture
  • Bateria Quilombola
  • EEDS Bateria
  • Bloco Maximo
  • Oloboom

We also wanted to thank our wonderful sponsors, who generously donated their goods and services to EEDS:

We were also lucky enough to have delicious Brazilian food sold by Taste of Brasil and beer from Sketchbook Brewing Company. A big thanks also goes out to all of the wonderful volunteers who helped make the event run smoothly, as well as the tireless efforts of the EEDS leadership and board. We hope this Carnaval event becomes a part of your yearly tradition. We had a great time singing, dancing and celebrating with you all. See you all soon!