Grupo Batuque is a constantly shifting samba collective of veteran Brazilian percussionists, drummers and musicians assembled by Joe Davis of Far Out Recordings. Members include; Ivan Conti, Wilson das Neves, Dom Chacal, Zezinho, Robertinho Silva, Aleuda, Aparacedinha, Leo Leobonz, Roc Hunter, Cidinho Moreira and many more.
The idea came about in Rio ’96 during three long hot days of Carnival. Far Out Recordings hired a studio and gathered some of the top percussionist and musicians, with artists from local favela-based samba schools. This resulted in ‘Samba de Rua’ the first album from Grupo Batuque, an album full of rural street batucadas – encapsulating the music and atmosphere of the Carnival. Grupo Batuque have gone on to release another four albums with Far Out Recordings, becoming one of the labels most successful projects. Their second album ‘Samba de Futebol’ was in part a homage to their beloved Flamengo football club and the beautiful game as a whole. The album featured members of Império Serrano, one of Rio’s most traditional samba schools, led by Wilson das Neves (musical director). Their third album, the Grammy nominated ‘Africa Brazil’ was produced by Joe Davis and arranged by Ivan Conti; documenting Samba's African roots. After the success of ‘Africa Brazil’ Far Out Recordings decided to take the project further by releasing ‘Rhythmix’ which featured remixes of tracks from the previous two albums featuring the talents and concepts of 4 Hero, Big Bang, Fauna Flash, Viper Squad, Rock Hunter, Jamie Anderson, Osunlade, Zero dB, Masters At Work and Da Lata. Their fifth album was called ‘O Tempo Do Samba': a feel good, up-tempo sun-soaked record. The core of the album was written by Ivan Conti and produced by Roc Hunter who were helped by infamous percussionist Cidinho Moreira. Moreira was backed up on percussion by Pirulito, who in the 70’s was a regular member of Jorge Ben’s legendary Banda Ze Pretinho. It also features Nico Rezende, a famous Brazilian pianist who had major success in the 80s as did composer, songwriter and saxophonist Leo Gandelman who worked on the searing horn arrangements that punctuate the album. The two lead vocalists are Fabiola and Claudemir De Silva. Fabiola was a popular Samba singers from in 70s to the 90s whilst newcomer Claudemir is both a poet and Sambista whose talent started getting recognised after appearing on the album.