Batuke Samba Funk at the North Shore Open Space Park on Saturday

Brazilians have rapidly become an integral part of South Florida's cultural melting pot. And while many will recognize their contributions to the arenas of futebol and beach wear, I've always made a big case for their musical innovations.

From bossa nova to death metal to MPB, the Brazilian sound is highly significant. This Saturday's free event at the North Shore Open Space Park will mix exciting visuals with the tradition of batuke, which means the act of drumming on any surface.

Imagine Stomp! crossed with an out-of-control drum circle. Batuke Samba Funk is anchored in Miami by its core musicians and their expert displays of percussion, incorporating the traditional sounds of samba with jazz and funk via an ad hoc cache of found percussion instruments you might recognize from having put out with the trash.

Batuke Samba Funk will get backup from Miami Beach's Capoeira Abolição as well as the drummers from the Paulo Gualano Drum Ensemble and dancers under the direction of Ludmilla Fleury. This free event will be a great introduction to a vibrant musical culture.

Oh, yeah ... Skimpy clothing is not optional, it is mandatory.

Batuke Samba Funk with the Paulo Gualano Drum Ensemble. Saturday, January 22. North Shore Open Space Park. The show starts at 3 p.m. and admission is free. All ages. Call 305-673-7720 or visit

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Abel Folgar