Samba Kernow on stage


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Updated 12/07/05

Samba Kernow was formed in the summer of '99 and has quickly built up a reputation as an enthusiastic, high energy band playing irresistibly danceable percussive music. The band plays a wide range of Brazilian styles which blend African, European and native Indian cultures to produce complex and dynamic grooves.

Among the band's repertoire, played on authentic instruments, you will hear the sounds of batucada, usually heard on the streets of Rio de Janeiro during carnival and samba-reggae developed from Northeast Brazil's distinctive afro grooves which grew out of their passion for Bob Marley's music.

Close up of band
Close up of band

Samba Kernow draws its membership of dedicated and enthusiastic players from St Ives, Penzance, Newlyn, Lamorna, Helston and Truro.

In April 2002, at the Acorn Theatre, the band launched their first CD "Free Spirit" which was their most ambitious project with the inclusion of vocals, a wider range of percussion instruments and rhythms adapted and arranged by Samba Kernow's founder mestre Dave Brotherton from timbalada, maracatu, afoxe and candombe as well as the more familiar grooves usually heard on the streets and piers of West Cornwall and across Brazil.

Samba Kernow has entertained many audiences including those at the St Ives September Festival (where one year the band was filmed for BBC TV's Food and Drink programme), St Ives May Day celebrations, Golowan Festival in Penzance, Newlyn Fish Festival, Truro City of Lights and the Royal Cornwall Show as well as numerous appearances at the Acorn Theatre.

It is essentially a community band which often performs to support other charities with their fundraising. They have pledged 10% of CD sale proceeds to be shared between "Task Brazil" for street children in Northeast Brazil and, closer to home, the League of Friends of West Cornwall Hospital.

Close up of band

"Free Spirit" our first CD

Click on any of the tracks below to download or hear an extract.
Buy this CD on-line at the UK Samba Association shop

Link to Task Brazil charity Play sample of Track 13 Chatterbox Play sample of Track 12 Bom Dia St Ia Play sample of Track 11 Olinda Play sample of Track 10 Night Train to Parati Play sample of Track 9 Papagaio Play sample of Track 8 Free Spirit Play sample of Track 7 The Kapok Tree Play sample of Track 6 Earthbeat Play sample of Track 5 Maracatu Granito Play sample of Track 4 DiDá Play sample of Track 3 The Serpent's Tongue Play sample of Track 2 Guaraná Play sample of Track 1 Rip Tide Free Spirit CD cover with track listing


Samba Kernow has built up a loyal following among local people of all ages and they look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones at their forthcoming gigs around the county of Cornwall.

To book the band, and for all enquiries or phone 01736 799305 to speak to Dave or Dee.

2004 was certainly an emotional rollercoaster of a year for Samba Kernow which was "topped and tailed" by tragic circumstances both personal to the band and shared by the whole world. In the midst of these sombre events we experienced joy and exhilaration - see Highlights of 2004 to find out more.

Samba Kernow news - July 2005

Someday soon summer will arrive or so rumour has it! If you've seen the sun lately PLEASE tell it to go home to Cornwall and do it's stuff - we're desperate. What it means of course is that we haven't been able to get out on the streets of St Ives and play our socks off to all those unsuspecting visitors. We have been blessed however, with several new members who are all getting up to speed very well. The worst part of joining any new group is actually walking through the door into a group of (perhaps) total strangers - once that's over the rest is comparatively easy so never be afraid to come along and have a go.

Some of these hardy souls had a "baptism by big gig" in mid July when we played at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose summer ball. The first set was received with moderate enthusiasm and mild amusement as we played to the arriving guests in their finery, but once they loosened up a bit with a meal and few glasses of water they went wild for us! At one point the band weaved its way through the tables in the marquee to reach those at the back who couldn't get through the crush to the dancefloor - they loved us. Talk about work hard and play hard - they certainly know how to let their hair down. Our efforts were definitely helped along by the presence of a few genuine Brazilian dancers - Nina, Leda and a young woman who we hadn't met before - fantastic.

As a complete contrast we played last Saturday 30th at a BBQ "relaunch" of the newly renamed Red River Inn at Gwithian. For those of you unfamiliar with the area Gwithian is a gorgeous village near Hayle with a pub, a church, a few farms, some houses/cottages and 2 dampsites, sorry campsites and that's all. There was no ad in the local paper nor did I see any posters or signage so of course we all thought "no-one will turn up, the weather's crap and all the locals will stay at home." How wrong we were - it was mega successful for Aaron & Sally the new owners. They'd worked like mad to pull it off and all the new arrivals to the campsite just had to walk across the road to a ready made party. The locals made the effort to turn out too so we had a great night and they fed us as well. Owing to the unusual absence of our 2 male sambistas (apart from mestre Dave that is) it was an all-girl band that night - some wit (a chap) in the audience remarked that it still took a bloke to lead it though - he was nearly lynched but then we remembered that he was a paying customer!

Plans are well in hand for our hugely exciting SAMBA CELTICA project which culminates in a dance night at the St Ives September Festival on Friday 16th September - put the date in your diary now, better still contact us for your tickets which we've kept deliberately low priced at only £5. A great night out for one and all.
Thanks to all our supporters old and new - come and say hello if you see us around. See you soon, Dee Brotherton.

See and hear us in 2005

During the summer, catch us on Friday evenings (weather permitting) in St. Ives town.

Falmouth Week, Sun. 14th August.

Lands End Firework spectacular, Thur. 25th August.

Newlyn fish festival, BH Mon. 29th August.

St. Ives September Festival, opening day, Sat. 10th Sept.

Our exciting new project Samba Celtica will be on stage at the St Ives September Festival on Friday 16th Sept. at the Guildhall St. Ives, and making a return visit to Lowender Peran in October.

Join us

We welcome new members, so if you'd like to meet the band, come along to our regular Monday rehearsals.
We meet from 7pm until 9 at the Church of the Vine, St. Ives.

By the Fire Station turn into Penbeagle Lane, follow the road to the corner of the Industrial Estate, you will find us in the building next to the car sales area (Paul Trevoro) show map.

Page last updated 9th August 2005 © Samba Kernow 2005