Hartford, Conn., May 9, 2013 – The 7th Annual Trinity Samba Fest drew an estimated 4,000 people to the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza for this year’s daylong event. The event featured performances by standout area musicians, including Dinho Nasciemento y Orquestra de Berimbaus do Morro do Querosene from São Paulo, Brazil. The event celebrated Brazilian culture in a carnival-style atmosphere alongside the Connecticut River in downtown Hartford.
“Many people told me that that this was the best samba fest that we've ever had,” said Eric Galm, organizer of the Trinity Samba Fest and chair of the music department at Trinity College. “The weather was fantastic, and all of the musical groups performed at an exceptionally high level.”
In addition to the Orquestra de Berimbaus, the event included performances by Trinity Steel, a student-run ensemble directed by Ashish Adhikari ’13; student musicians from Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle School, and other local schools; the youth ensemble Guakibom Jazz, conducted by trumpeter and salsa bandleader Ray González; De 4 Ahwee & Company, a Bloomfield-based West Indian steel band; New Haven’s Ginga Brasileira; Brazilian vocalist José Paulo; and Hartford’s Ed Fast and Conga-Bop.
The buzz around Hartford for this year’s event was high, as this year's event included an hour-long episode on Brazilian music and culture in Connecticut on WNPR's "Where We Live" (produced by Brianna Gross '13, and with musical performances by Adhikari, Destin Dopwell '15, Renuka Shukla '13, Austin Tewksbury '13, José Paulo, Amy Yarbrough, and Galm). The Samba Fest was also featured on FOX CT Morning News with a discussion by Galm, and performance by the Orquestra de Berimbaus do Morro do Querosene. Additional performances in the Hartford area by the Berimbau Orchestra included the Hartford Public Library, the Trinity Spring Celebration on the main quadrangle of Trinity's campus, the inaugural Event for the West Indian Parade Association, and the Florence E. Smith STEM School in West Hartford. Trinity Samba Ensemble performances included Hola!, West Hartford's annual event, the Hartford Public Library, and the Trinity College Community Learning Initiative's Community Partners reception.
“Great music, fun activities, and Mother Nature smiling upon the event with great weather made this the best Samba Fest ever,” Joe Barber, Director of Community Service and Civic Engagement, said. “Professor Eric Galm has created and built a unique and fun event that highlights and celebrates the cultural diversity and strength of Hartford.”
Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr., along with Ambassador of the Brazilian Consulate of Hartford Cézar Amaral, delivered welcoming remarks along with Galm. Samba Fest was supported by the Trinity College’s Austin Arts Center Guest Artist Series, The Department of Music, The Center for Urban and Global Studies Arts Initiative, the offices of Community Relations, Multicultural Affairs, and Campus Life, and WRTC 89.3 FM. The Festival is supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation. The Hartford Public Library is a community partner. Samba Fest is produced by Trinity College in partnership with Riverfront Recapture. In addition, the Samba Fest received a $10,000 grant from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, specifically for Dinho Nascimento and the Orquestra de Berimbaus do Morro do Querosene to perform at the Samba Fest, and also received a grant from the Musicians Performance Trust Fund from the American Federation of Musicians.