The Kennedy Center



Batalá Washington is an all-women percussion band whose mission is to empower women through drumming and expose local communities to the dynamic music and culture of northeastern Brazil.  Batalá’s heavily syncopated rhythms are rooted in traditional African drumming, accented with heavy doses of Brazilian samba and Caribbean reggae. Playing 5 different drums, the women of Batalá create create a powerful, infectious sound that has captivated audiences in the DC area and beyond.  Combined with Batalá’s colorful costumes and energetic dancing, the music creates an auditory and visual experience that few forget.

Watch Past Performances

Video 10/20/2018: Abada-Capoeira DC & Batalá Washington

Local capoeira leaders Abada-Capoeira DC join forces with all-woman samba reggae percussion band Batalá Washington to present a joint evening of syncopated rhythms and dynamic martial art and dance movements, celebrating the vibrant culture of Brazil. 

Video 6/12/2016: Batalá

The D.C.-based Batalá band comes to the Millennium Stage as part of the 2016 DC Jazz Festival. Part of a larger Batalá family created in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, Batalá focuses on a distinctive samba-reggae beat that has spread to include 30 Batalá groups worldwide.

Presented as part of the 2016 DC Jazz Festival Dis is ‘Da Drum series.

Video 4/13/2014: Target Family Night: One Mic Creative Ecosystem Presents A Hip-Hop Fusion Drum Call

The Drum Call showcases the international roots of hip-hop music, from the traditional drum to contemporary electronic rhythm machines, via collaborations and solo creations from drummer Kiran Gandhi (M.I.A., Thievery Corporation), all-female percussion group Batala, and noted beatmakers Asma Maroof, Hezekiah, and Arsonal. Part of One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.