Baque de Bamba is an Afro-Brazilian percussion group based in Toronto, founded in 2009 by the notable Brazilian artist and Juno Nominee Aline Morales; leader of the former Maracatu group “Nunca Antes”. We perform afro rhythms originated in the northeast of Brazil, mostly in the city of Recife. Our main focus is on the Maracatu de Baque Virado style, however, we also perform other percussive styles like Coco, Ciranda and Ijexá.

Our group features a contemporary formation ahead of this century old Brazilian Afro culture manifestation, represented by drumming, singing and dancing. We are best known for our high energy and for captivating people in our presentations. We draw influence from the natural elements (fire, earth, wind, and water), the Orixás (deitias) of the Candomblé tradition, and the meeting of cultures within Colonial Brazil and Africa. Representing through music, principles of pride, artistic expression, solidarity and resistance; empowered by our sense of community. Baque de Bamba shines a light into the enticing bottomless depths of Brazilian folkloric music and dance, whilst reaching into the contemporary treasure chest of uplifting modern Western styles

*Baque: general word given to each Maracatu band (Maracatu is an Afro Rhythm originated in the city of Recife, PE-Brazil). *Bamba: colloquial word describing the wherewithal to thrive on the streets/compliment meaning swagger and street-smart.

Maracatu de Baque Virado itself is much more than a percussive style and almost impossible to define in words. It came about during the Colonial Brazil, between the XVII and XVIII centuries in the city of Recife, Pernambuco. It is believed that the first processions were coronation ceremonies of the Kings and Queens of Congo. This practice was supposedly implemented in Brazil by the Portuguese and was therefore permitted by the slave owners.

These chosen kings and queens acted as political leaders, spokespersons and mediators of the different African slave communities in relation to Portuguese Colonial authorities. Consequently, the cultural manifestation that is Maracatu was how the “enslaved” African nations in Recife upheld their cultural and religious traditions in response to living under Portuguese colonial rule. The clash of cultures that emerged during colonial occupation provided a wealth of musical inheritance which created the foundations of Maracatu, which carries in its ethnic veins the mix of strong and vivacious African influence, an Indigenous imprint and an indisputable European mark. Besides their musical and theatrical manifestations, Maracatu groups also hid the practice of Candomblé, a religion of African beliefs frowned upon by the Catholic church. After the abolition of slavery in Brazil Maracatu gradually became an important and very traditional part of the street Carnival in Recife.

In a traditional procession 80-100 drummers (collectively called a “baque”) will follow the chosen King and Queen. They are also accompanied by dancers and stock characters, all dressed in regal clothes imitating a traditional Portuguese court. The performance also enacts pre-colonial African traditions like parading the calunga, a doll representing tribal deities that is kept through the year in the Maracatu group’s headquarters. The calunga is sacred and is carried by the female Dama de Paço (Lady-in-Waiting) of the cortège.

During carnival, the different Maracatu groups (traditionally referred to as Maracatu Nations) take to the streets in large processions. The parade dances to the rhythm of its percussion. The soloist sings a song and the chorus answers with the refrain. The standard bearer presents the group to the audience and the drummers cut a path through the crowds on the streets. In Recife, the youth take the lead role as drummers, every generation adding their own style to the musical mix. The older, more mature drummers hold down the basic patterns to keep the music steady for the dancers. While maintaining its traditional elements and religiousness, nowadays Maracatu is largely a carnival game, where various groups compete with each other to see which has the best music, dance and costumes.

Maracatu is now being played in major cities all over the world! Like any great Art Form it continues to grow and transform, while balancing the personal and political. Nevertheless, Maracatu will always be charged with the rebellious outcry of its ancestry through the power of the drum.

The instruments of Maracatu are:

1. Alfaia - big barrel bass drum which lays down the groove and the beat
2. Tarol or Caixa - high-pitched snare drum which is the engine of the rhythm and gives it its feel
3. Gonguê - big steel bell that holds down the rhythm and unites all instruments - the “soul” of the baque
4. Agbê or Xequerê- gourd shaker with beads that fills in the spaces
5. Ganzá or Mineiro - cylindrical shaker which works similarly to the Agbê

Add the instrument icons with sounds ☺

The whistle, which lies in the hands of the percussion master, is an important element of the Maracatu rhythm. It calls in all the breaks and transitions, signals beginnings and ends, and dictates the speed at which drummers should come play.

Aline Morales’ days of being Toronto’s best kept secret are over. Since arriving in Toronto in 2003, Brazilian-born Morales has been well known locally as a dynamic singer, percussionist and bandleader. However, it was the release of her debut solo album, the stunning Flores, Tambores e Amores, that brought national attention to this unique artist, culminating in a JUNO nomination for World Music Album of the Year. Released in 2011, Flores, Tambores e Amores was met with widespread critical acclaim, reaching #1 on Canada’s Folk/World charts and landing on several best of 2011 lists and in 2013, the well-known Putumayo label included Aline’s song “Pra Que Sambar” on their Women of Brazil compilation.

Born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Aline began her performing career as a child training in capoeira, and by her 20’s she had performed in a variety of traditional and modern bands including one of Brazil’s most well-known maracatu groups, Nacao Estrela Brilhante do Recife. Since her arrival in Toronto, she has been a tireless promoter of the traditional maracatu rhythms of Northeastern Brazil, performing with her 30-member percussion troupe, Baque de Bamba, at countless outdoor festivals and events. She also gained recognition through her role as Resident Artist at the Young Centre for Performing Arts, and by starring in an Ontario Tourism’s “There’s No Place Like This” commercial.

Maracatu - So tenho a dizer. Fantástico!!! Não ha experiência melhor do que ver/sentir/ouvir/viver essa vibração de vários corações tocando em uma combinação perfeita de sons . Muito obrigada por tamanho presente de poder fazer parte deste publico privilegiado. E um orgulho disser que MARACATU não so representa o brasileiro no mundo, mas respeita e comemora as nossas raízes de forma Divina. Toronto International BrazilFest teve o prazer de poder compartilhar tamanho talento e harmonia durante varias apresentações do Maracatu em nossos palcos e me orgulho por participar ao publico esta maravilha, pessoas talentosas e de tamanho carinho pelo o que faz! Muito obrigada. Fica nosso palco aberto para apoiar e promover Maracatu pra sempre!
Arilda de Oliveira

*Maracatu workshops with Lenis Rino* November 12 - November 14 Nov 12 at 8:00pm to Nov 14 at 10:00pm
Come learn and experience Maracatu in new and different way with well-know Brazilian musician Lenis Rino, who has been a major influence in the movement that brought Maracatu from a remote corner of Brasil to the rest of the world. In these workshops, L
08:00 pm

******************************************************** *Baque de Bamba Coco de Roda* November 14th, 10:00pm Free Interactive Event
Drum Artz Studio, 27 Primrose Ave, Toronto Here is your opportunity to come and experience maracatu in a fun and interactive setting. After our workshop with Lenis Rino, we will open up the space for people to come and try out drumming and singing in a c
10:00 pm

******************************************************** *Maracatu Baque de Bamba 6th Year Anniversary Party* Featuring special guest Lenis Rino Sunday, November 23rd
$10 in advance, $15 at the door Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto Baque de Bamba celebrates our 6th anniversary and our time with mestre Lenis Rino in a spectacular concert!
09:00 pm

******************************************************** ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ★MARACATU YOU★ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸
August 9 - August 17 Aug 9 at 3:00pm to Aug 17 at 6:30pm The Theatre Centre 1115 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario For more information:
03:00 pm

******************************************************** Fundraiser - MARACATU YOU - June12th
08:00 pm


*Maracatu workshops with Lenis Rino*

November 12 - November 14
Nov 12 at 8:00pm to Nov 14 at 10:00pm

Come learn and experience Maracatu in new and different way with well-know Brazilian musician Lenis Rino, who has been a major influence in the movement that brought Maracatu from a remote corner of Brasil to the rest of the world.

In these workshops, Lenis will teach us how to use rhythms and methods from the Maracatu tradition as creative tools to make new music in a contemporary language. Supported by Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto*

Drum Artz Canada
27 Primrose Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6H 3V1


Corporate Workshops

Our workshops involve team work, communication and dynamics. In a very relaxed environment the teachers find the right balance for all of the students to feel comfortable with the instruments. Starting with warm- up exercises, stretches and rhythm games, the whole group works together as one following the whistle. There is no previous experience necessary.

All instruments needed are provided in class.

Baque de Bamba offers regular weekly workshops every Monday (beginners) and Wednesday (intermediate/advanced) from 8:00 to 10:00pm. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is required and there is no need to sign up prior to attending. Sessions take place at Drum Artz, 27 Primrose Avenue, Toronto, M6H 3V1.

• Class Packages (each class is 2hrs long):

-6 Classes - $100
-8 Classes - $120
-Monthly Unlimited - $70
-Drop in - $20

Your first workshop is free with the purchase of a package.

• Corporate Workshops: Please contact us for a quote at

“Inspired by the floor-shaking rhythms and vibrant dances of North-Eastern Brazil, Baque de Bamba takes you on an enlightening tour of the intoxicating grooves of Brazil and beyond.” - Muhtadi International Drumming Festival.

We offer:
• Live performances
• Private events
• Corporative team building workshops
• Festivals
• Partnerships

Our performances are a high energy celebration of rhythm and voice. Baque de Bamba has approximately 30 members which can be divided into two different formats:

• Full Baque: A traditional Maracatu presentation where the number of performers can range from 10 to 30+ people. Within this style of presentation you will experience the traditional musical manifestation of Maracatu similar to what you would on the streets of Recife. In this format we can perform in one spot or in a procession. The floor will shake!

• Small of “Stage” Group: A more contemporary format with 8+ performers. Within this format we allow ourselves to experiment with different percussive styles and to reach into the contemporary treasure chest to create a uplifting, refreshing and equally captivating performance. This style may also include melodic instruments.

• Please contact us for more information:

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