Friday, September 22

BatUCLAda Brazilian drum ensemble hits Fowler Museum


The Brazilian music ensemble batUCLAda will perform lively music from Salvador Bahia, Brazil, tonight at the Fowler Museum. The group plays a variety of drums to encompass carnival culture and the energy that is so characteristic of it.

The Brazilian music ensemble batUCLAda will perform lively music from Salvador Bahia, Brazil, tonight at the Fowler Museum. The group plays a variety of drums to encompass carnival culture and the energy that is so characteristic of it. Courtesy of Sara Stranovsky


Loud, fast-paced drum rhythms will storm out of the Fowler Museum today as the UCLA Music of Brazil Ensemble plays one of its last performances of the season.

The drum ensemble, also known as batUCLAda, will be performing carnival, the most high-energy type of Brazilian percussion.

The group will also be accompanied by the music of Africa ensemble at the beginning of the performance.

This event marks the final performance of the season in the Fowler Out Loud concert series.

“Carnival music is very happy, energetic. It gets your blood going in a very positive, fun way ““ it’s meant for dancing,” said Kirk Brundage, the director of the ensemble.

The music is linked to a celebratory festival very popular in Brazil, and the festival has roots going as far back as Christian antiquity, Brundage said.

The event, typically held the weekend prior to Ash Wednesday, is a massive celebration, full of dancing, food, drinking and all-around revelry.

Brundage said the event could be likened to Mardi Gras in Louisiana.

The drumming behind the Brazilian event reflects the carnival’s overall attitude, and as such, the batUCLAda ensemble strives to encapsulate that energy, Brundage said.

Performances are very far from typical sit-down music, said Matt Gonzalez, a third-year ethnomusicology student who plays in the ensemble.

Gonzalez said that the music creates a fun atmosphere and is suitable for anyone looking to have a good time.

“Once everyone starts going, it just gets really lively,” Gonzalez said.

He said he likes playing in the ensemble because of the variety of opportunities in which students with all skill sets can engage.

According to Gonzalez, because of the number of different drums used, there are opportunities for the completely inexperienced to the advanced.

Loud drums in the outdoor auditorium will probably attract some attention, according to Sara Stranovsky, the Fowler Out Loud coordinator.

“If people walk by, they aren’t going to be able to keep walking; they will have to come in,” Stranovsky said.

As a former member of the ensemble, Stranovsky said being in the group evoked strong feelings. The intensity and sound made her feel powerful as a percussionist.

Now on the other side of the curtain, Stranovsky said

batUCLAda was a choice that reflected the global music aim of the concert series as a whole.

“It’s a great, fun way to end the season,” Stranovsky said. “If people come to this performance, they will get a taste for a celebratory culture.”

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