Samba Laranja Will Fill CCR with Brazilian Beats

by Mark Bialczak | 13 days ago

Samba Laranja is known for its infectious beats.

So, yes, when the Syracuse University Brazilian Ensemble visits the Carman Community Room at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, for the second concert in the LPL’s Latin Rhythms series, expect plenty of percussion.

It just might be of a more subtle variety, considering the size and acoustics of the room, group co-director Josh Dekaney said during a phone interview.

“There will be singing and playing the Cajon. Myself and one other will be playing the bass drum. But lightly. For sure we can’t be doing the big drumming pieces meant to be done outside,” said Dekaney, who founded the ensemble in 2001 with his wife, co-director Elisa.

The group has traveled the nation and world to play maracatu, samba reggae, choro, musica popular Brasilera, samba funk and original music. They’ve also recorded three albums and won Syracuse Area Music Awards for all of them.

“We have a lot of music,” Josh Dekaney said. “From the Amazon region. The Forest region, what’s left of it. So we consider, who do we have? What do they play? Say we know we have five flautists and several clarinetists, that shapes what we will play.”

Patrons that turn out for the show can also expect to be educated about the style and nation from which it comes.

“Say if there’s a place to tack a map of Brazil, that would be fantastic,” Dekaney said. “We could teach the crowd a few Portuguese words. I think this audience is there because it wants to learn.”

The Latin Rhythms series will continue with a show at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, by Colleen Kattau, and conclude at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19, with a concert by Grupo Pagan.

Here's a YouTube clip from LuBossa's Jan. 19 show in the CCR:

Here's a YouTube clip of a Samba Laranja performance: