Batucaxé is a percussion and performance group that started here in Tucson in 2003. A non-profit organization, they are very involved in the community and even have different lessons and classes for anyone who wants to learn their style of dance and drums.
Batucaxé (pronounced bah-too-cah-SHEY) is inspired mostly by the music of Brazil, but features music traditions from all over the world, while also adding in some of their own flavors.
Their facebook page explains the meaning behind their name, saying, " 'Batucaxé' is a combination of 'batuca', or drum beat, and 'axé', the life-fore in call things, and the power to make things happen."
This is a group that has many parts. They have a Performance Group, which is the core troupe of musicians and dancers, and a community group that includes over 50 people, some of which are beginners and some that are experienced. Both groups perform throughout the year at different events and places around Tucson. The Community Group's rehearsals are open to anyone who wants to go and find out more about them and try their hand. There are many ways that you can become a member yourself, and it starts with attending one of their classes.
Some of the events that they play at is at Tucson Meet Yourself, Earth Day, and the Family Arts Festival. Many of these performances are interactive and get the crowd to be a part of the fun and music. The Performance Group, being smaller, plays at more intimate events.
Every Sunday Batucaxé holds Afro-Brazilian dance classes that are open for anyone who wants to attend with just a $12 fee. The classes are at 5 pm at the Rhythm Industry, located at 1013 S. Tyndall Ave., Tucson, AZ.
Batucaxé started off with a small group of friends who got together to perform in the Mt. Lemmon parade in 2003, but has now grown to include anyone and everyone who wants to join in on the fun and learning of different dance and musical styles.
The group also likes to do what they call guerilla samba, where they show up in "unexpected places" and put on "unplanned performances" that get people on their feet.
Batucaxé has become so much more than just a performance group. They have become a integral part of the Tucson community, putting on performances, teaming up with other organizations such as Many Mouths One Stomach to spread the word that help is needed.
They have even begun to put on their own annual parade called Carnaval that invites groups from around the city to come participate and has local music groups come and perform.
Watch them perform!
Also, check out their Facebook page and become a fan!