Doors at 7:30 pm; Seated dinner and music performance/discussion at 8:00 pm; Samba dance lesson at 9:00 pm; Music for dancing at 9:30 pm
Tickets are $15 Show Only / $30 Dinner & Show
Afro-Brazilian menu prepared by guest chef Krystle Cameron
Ashkenaz is excited to host our first “Diaspora Diner” special event of 2017, featuring the band SambaDá. Diaspora Diner presents a menu and live music from the African Diaspora – tonight focusing on Afro-Brazilian culture – with cuisine prepared by Chef Krystle Cameron, a concert by the band that incorporates discussion of their music’s historical and cultural roots, and a time for the audience to get up and dance.
Cameron’s Afro-Brazilian-inspired meal, available for advance purchase or a la carte (while supplies last), includes vegetarian Feijoada (black bean stew); Couve a Mineira (garlicky collard greens); rice; Brazilian lemonade; and dessert. The idea for Diaspora Diner was born of Cameron’s desire to connect more deeply with the various iterations of the culture(s) of her African ancestors. “I've always found the alchemical nature of African culture both mystifying and empowering; slaves taken from the shores of West Africa transformed the food, languages, and landscapes of every country they eventually set foot in. I find great comfort and inspiration in being able to trace the recipes, music, and dances of my southern upbringing all the way back to The Motherland.”
Santa Cruz-based SambaDá, whose shows have been some of the liveliest ever on the Ashkenaz stage, was founded in 1998 by native Brazilian Papiba Godinho. SambaDá’s ultimate goal isn’t just to preserve traditions the musicians are so well-versed in – including samba, bossa nova, pagode, samba reggae, batucada, and forró, plus some well-placed surf guitar – but also to get everyone dancing to their infectious blend of Brazilian roots and other North and South American styles such as funk, reggae, jazz, rock, and hip-hop. The group’s pulsating percussion, uplifting vocals, and rich melodies give it a distinctive sound, heard in both popular and original songs. SambaDá visited Brazil in July 2009 and became the first band from the U.S. to play at the legendary house of Ilê Aiyê, the first black Carnaval group in Brazil. The band also was a headliner at Ashkenaz’s 2013 anniversary celebration, “40 Years Dancing for Peace.”
Lead vocalist Dandha da Hora is a master dancer from Ilê Aiyê, and singer-guitarist Godinho is a master of the Brazilian martial art form capoeira. The band also includes percussionists Ibou Ngom (from Senegal) and Will Bates-Minou, saxophonist-flutist Anne Stafford, bassist Etienne Franc, and drummer Gary Kehoe.