"Girls Don't Play Drums"

“No, girls don’t play drums. Take this flute.”

Traditionally around the world, women were not allowed to drum.   Women have been forced to be the dancers, or steered towards a flute or violin.  
Fogo Azul NYC All Women Brazilian Drumline  takes this gender role tradition and crushes it. We also have formally changed our scope to include Non-Binary, Trans-Feminine folks, and gender non-conforming individuals.  

110 humans strong, we are the largest drumming group in the United States. Our goal is to teach people to drum and perform in public, with a larger goal to ultimately foster dignity and self-esteem, and encourage self help and  self reliance.  

After raising nearly $6000 for our trip to Salvador for the drums (scroll down for pre-Brazil story and THANK YOU!), we came back from playing in carnival 2020 in early March with Salvador de Bahia’s only all  woman drumline with an entirely new outlook on our goals and the idea of expansion!  Thus, we are fundraising again....post-pandemic for two things:

1.  We need your help to fund new performance wear!  During the pandemic we had some down time to re-think and re-design our look.  Check out Tati Vitsic's design for Fogo Azul NYC.  She took elements of Bahia and mixed with elements of NYC to create this epic design to help FogoAzul stand out visually.  Check out her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/tativitsic/?hl=en  and even better, her company, Pommy New York  https://pommynewyork.com/
and contact her if you'd like to purchase things from her OR hire her to design something for you!  

Check out some new shirts we were able to purchase for 2021 with the new design! 

2.  FogoAzul is looking to expand our education to schools!  We're aiming to start a kids/teens drumming project in 2022 which would involve going into schools, OR perhaps having our own space to call our own (now THAT would be a big fundraiser!)  

Check out these pictures from Carnival in February 2020, pre-pandemic!
Putting the drums together at our hostel in Salvador da Bahia.  Thanks to our donors for the money to get these drums directly from Contemporanea in Sao Paulo, Brazil sent to our hostel!  We used them for rehearsals and the carnival parades, and then we disassembled them again and nested them in drum bags and checked them as luggage on our flights back!  

This is the original pre-Brazil story written in December 2019:

Many women have come to Fogo Azul saying “I always wanted to play drums, but wasn’t allowed to.”  We give women that opportunity that was denied to them.  

We're fundraising for two things:

1. Right now we need your help to purchase more drums. We’re maxed out on our drum supply with a waiting list of 20+ women who want to join, but can’t! (And that list grows everyday!)
Additionally, the drums we use cannot be purchased here in the United States. They can be purchased from either European shops who import them from Brazil, or, they can be purchased right from the source in Brazil.

-BUT- (!!!) 

2. Approximately 30 of us from Fogo Azul are going to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil in February for Carnival 2020. We are beyond excited to announce we will be training and playing in Carnaval with Maestra Adriana Portela and Banda Dida. Banda Didá is Bahia's only all women drumline! It’s very difficult to disassemble our Fogo Azul drums and bring them overseas, so we’ve teamed up with our Mentor, Marcus Santos and will have Contemporanea Grooversity Drums made for us in São Paulo, Brazil and delivered to our guesthouse in Salvador! Read this great website about Didá here. 

We are looking to raise $7500. This will cover the cost of the drums and shipping to Salvador, their subsequent assembly to use in the Carnaval workshops and parades, disassembly, and then return to NYC to be added to our drum inventory! 
Hopefully, it will also help to cover the costs of cultural and educational day trips for the band members (van rentals, admission costs, tour guides) , and the costs of drumming workshops!

All funds raised beyond the $7500 will be 100% donated to Banda Didá as cash, or to purchase supplies for the organization such as notebooks, pens, used laptops, and other items we can easily bring for them. 

Project Banda Didá was born with the objective of improving the quality of life of women and children through art education. It came from a small group of women who were giving their first drum beat lessons at the project headquarters. In January 1994, percussionist Neguinho do Samba  encouraged the group to perform at Lavagem do Bonfim, in a performance in front of Mercado Modelo. This first public appearance of Didá caused a sensation among the public, as women doing samba-reggae was new. A month later, when singer Mariazinha invited the newly created Didá Banda Feminina to open Salvador's Carnival, the group held a procession to its headquarters in Pelourinho. In 1995, Didá organized itself as a small Afro bloco. It was attended by family, friends, students and women from the Historical Center community.  Didá is also a community organization which offers programs for women and children such as after school programs and community outreach. 

If you’d like to make a donation of hard goods for the organization instead, please contact us!

Transparency: This is not a fundraiser to pay for our individual members to go to Brazil- each member is paying their own way. All funds raised will go to the aforementioned areas, and no individual will be receiving money directly. 

This photo was taken with Adriana Portela at the Percumon Festival in June 2019, Valencia, Spain. 
Banda Didá in action outside of the headquarters in the Peloruinho!


Donations (126)

  • Anonymous
    • $30 
    • 2 yrs
  • Brian Waterhouse
    • $30 
    • 2 yrs
  • Rebecca Hoffman
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Dawn Orlando
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs


Stacy Kovacs
Astoria, NY

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