EEDS 4th of July Wrap-Up and Thank Yous

For the fourth time in six years, the Evanston Escola de Samba was awarded 1st place in the Performance category at the Evanston 4th of July Parade! This is our fifth consecutive award from the parade judges. Our dynasty-in-the-making is the product of hard work from so many people, and we want to thank them all.

First, thanks again to anyone and everyone who contributed to our successful Kickstarter campaign. None of this could happen without your support, and we thank you!


Each year, scores of dancers, musicians and volunteers that make everything possible. They all give freely of their time and energy, and they continue to be the backbone of this organization. Special gratitude to the EEDS parade committee: Rachel Goc, Richard Adams, Lindsay Fullerton, and Matthew Rarey for spearheading the design of the float and costumes, and to the endlessly talented Dill Costa for choreographing a stellar performance in front of the judges. And of course, EEDS could not exist without the leadership of our executive director, Jessica Anzaldua, and our mestre da bateria, Reed Flygt and his partner-in-crime Peter Korajczyk. The drummers sounded better this year than they ever have, and we have their endless energy to thank!


Thanks as always to the amazing Dill Costa, our head of dance and rainha da bateria, who crafted and choreographed our stellar alas of passitas and baianas. So many dancers come to EEDS from Dill’s classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and we hope to see you all year after year. The always-energetic Edilson Lima deserves special thanks for volunteering his time to the parade, and as always, a shout-out to our wonderful mestre-sala and porta-bandeira, Etienne Montanez and Zenaida Saez, who carry the EEDS flag proudly.


Our bateria would never sound as good as it does without Reed Flygt, our fearless mestre. Special thanks to our Lane Tech bateria members, who brought so much fun and spirit to classes and the performance. It goes without saying how much everyone at EEDS loves our friends from Bloco Maximo who give our bateria extra swing.

Volunteers make everything better. Our float this year came from the brains of the EEDS parade committee, built with the labor of so many great EEDS members and volunteers: including Eudald Lerga, Nate Cornish, and Rita Sacay. Ramiro, Jeff, Raymond Rarey, and Barbara Goc also deserve extra credit for their help on parade day.


Finally, a thanks those who helped us record this fabulous event: our photographer, Mike Goc, and our videographer, Michael Rhee. In the coming days, we’ll be posting lots of photos and videos from the parade so you can catch some glimpses of our award-winning performance. If you have any photos you would like to share – email them to Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more info on classes, workshops, and events (as well as some generally awesome photo updates). The 4th of July is just the beginning! Stay Tuned!

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.
under the bridge

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!

EEDS 4th of July Parade Prep Continues! Volunteers wanted!

4th of July Parade prep has been continuing along at a fierce pace. This year in particular, we are planning a big float to go along with our Soccer/Futebol themed samba enredo. There are a ton of ways you can get involved! On the day of the parade itself, Friday July 4th, we will be doing a ton of setup, so if you have that day off we would love for you to join us! The parade starts at 2 PM but we will be spending all of the morning and night before prepping! If you are interested in helping out in any of these ways send an email to!


Float Prep: If you are interested in helping out with float prep in terms of painting or constructing pieces let us know, we still have a lot of work to be done on the float decoration and everyone is welcome! if you are a construction whiz, even better.

Float Set Up: We need a ton of help actually setting up and constructing our float the day of the parade. Come help lend a hand – this part is always very fun!

Being in the Parade: Also let us know if you are interested in marching alongside in the parade or being a featured member on one of our floats. We also need two volunteers to carry our banner!

Logistics: Are you a pro at keeping everyone in line? We need a few people to help us distribute water and help with parade organization the day of.


Calling all sambistas and friends: Come join our 4th of July Parade!

The big EEDS 4th of July parade is less than 3 weeks away – but there’s still time to join! Our 3-week Bateria Bootcamp starts tomorrow, Wednesday the 18th at 6:30 PM, and registration is still open for all percussionists (all levels welcome and instruments provided)! If you don’t want to play in the bateria, we are also looking for volunteers to help and people who just want to march alongside and have a good time on Friday, July 4th! If you are interested in volunteering or marching in the parade with us, shoot us an e-mail at

And while you’re at it, why not review some of our repertoire!

First week update: Thank you to our supporters – we’re 25% there!

Our bateria thanks you!
Our bateria thanks you!

We are extremely grateful to the 10 generous contributors who have helped us reach 25% of our goal! Thank you to new donors:

  • Marion
  • Philip Galinsky
  • Kristin and Marc Winter

The amount pledged so far covers our scholarships, shirts/hats and costume expenses. Though we are making progress, we still have a way to go before reaching our ultimate parade fundraising goal. Even if you can’t contribute, please help us by sharing our Kickstarter link and our Kickstarter event on Facebook. The Kickstarter closes at 10 AM on Saturday June 7th! If we do not raise enough funds by that date, we don’t receive any money, so every dollar really helps us towards our goal! Muito Obrigado!