Our instruments are made in Salvador de Bahia. all kinds of Brazilian rhythms, and Baterias
playing this style of music typically consist of five types of instruments:

The biggest surdo called the primeiro, plays on beats 1 & 3 and sets the tempo for the band. Combined with the Surdo 2, these are are called Marcacao (meaning “marking” as in “marking time”), because they mark the beat.

The Surdo Resposta (meaning response) or Surdo Segunda responds to the First Surdo & plays beat 2 & 4. Together the Surdo 1 & 2 create a “heartbeat.”

The Third Surdo or Small Surdo plays the samba reggae “off beat” and other syncopated rhythms. It cuts in between the beats of the two big drums with more complex rhythms and leads the dancing movements in the band.

“metalic” tone and makes the calls to the other drums.

The “engine” of the band, similar to a snare that can be found in a rock band.

How Batala New York City Began

Stacy Kovacs and assistant director Laura Torell and traveled to Brazil together in 2012 for Carnival in Salvador de Bahia to learn the inner workings. They had the honor of marching with Afro Bloco Cortejo Afro and brought back 35 Batala drums to NYC.

BatalaNYC was officially started in March 2012 in a small rehearsal room in the basement of a warehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn with 16 women. It quickly grew to 80 women and in June 2016 disbanded.

About Our Director

Artistic Director, Stacy Kovacs
Stacy hails from sunny Orchard Park, NY where she grew up playing piano and taking tap dance lessons at age 5 and percussion at age 8. She was in many different musical organizations throughout her youth, and eventually learned trombone. With her trombone she played jazz with Dick Clark’s American bandstand show for high school students, marched up Main Street USA at Disney World, Orlando, FL, and was a participant in the 1993 opening ceremonies of the World University Games. Stacy then took her trombone to Michigan State University where she majored in Marching Band (actually, Physiology), and had opportunities to play at two NCAA Final Four basketball tournaments, 3 BCS Bowl Games (including the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii), and countless other events. Stacy then pursued graduate school and in the process put music aside. Fortunately, her training brought her to NYC in 2005 where she picked up the trombone again and joined the Big Apple Corps Marching band and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. Missing the drumming she did as a child, she found Samba NY! and Philip Galinsky who showed her the ways of Brazilian percussion. Playing at NYC Brazilian Day 2011, she met MUNDO Batala and was instantly captivated by the rhythms of samba reggae. It was no turning back for Stacy as she pursued the opportunity to start a NYC chapter of Batala. After nearly 5 years of directing Batala NYC, Stacy closed Batala shop and started her own group caled FogoAzul NYC. You can find Stacy and follow her at NYC’s only all Women Drumline, Marching Band, and Samba Band!

How to Join

FogoAzul NYC wants YOU!
Women who wish to join are requested to pay a $25 non-refundable joining fee. We ask for a security deposit for a drum, sticks, and a belt. There is a $25 monthly fee associated, which covers the costs of running the band! Click the box below for more info.

Drumming in NYC