New Band, New Look, New Drums!
New Beginnings, 1 Year later.
My name is Stacy Kovacs. I am the founder and artistic director of FogoAzul NYC, New York City's All Women Brazilian Samba Band.
FogoAzul NYC is one of the only all women no experience necessary drumming groups in the country!
The group was started as an off-shoot of Grooversity which is an international innovative and creative drumming network project based in Somerville, Mass. The Grooversity drumming network brings activism to an entertainment level and has engaged communities worldwide!
Our mission and vision is to be a community based drumming band that teaches any woman regardless of musical experience to play the powerful rhythms of Brazil. This encourages self-expression and self-confidence. Fogo Azul NYC focuses on community outreach, school workshops and shows, as well as social justice and feminism.
As a community based organization we thrive on exposing a wider audience to this alluring music and engaging as many people as possible in the culture of Northeast Brazil to catalyze authentic, cross-boundary communities through the collaborative art form of drumming, music and dance. For the members, the experience of playing in front of live audiences is incredibly unique and liberating. It's also a place to be able to find community without judgment, and to play with others even if they’ve never played an instrument before. This creates an unusually animated and supportive environment of growth and exploration. There’s nothing like it!
Our members range in age from their teens to 70s, come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and work in various professions, including medicine, education, the arts, non-profit organizations, restorative justice, business, and technology. We play throughout the NYC Area, bringing the infectious joy of drumming and dancing to community events and charity walks, educational institutions and corporate venues, nightclubs and private parties.
We have no paid staff, including myself. We are committed to serving under-resourced communities (e.g., youth, incarcerated, elderly) and a majority of our 2016/2017 performances were community based, with no or nominal pay.
Why are we posting a Go Fund Me page:
We have grown because it is an awesome and fun experience! When we started a few months ago we had 15 members, we now have 64 and are still growing! As the musical director and creative force behind FogoAzul NYC, I have personally invested my own money to bring this amazing experience and cultural force to women who are interested and to ultimately bring this empowering experience for the members out to the community.
I was able to provide the initial start-up costs but we have grown! In order to sustain that growth we needed larger rehearsal space, more drums, more drums and more drums! I do charge members a fee of $25.00 a month, on a sliding scale.
At this point the drums we have total about $5500.00, my estimate at 15-30 members is now much bigger.
The rehearsal space is roughly $1400.00 a month.
The drums, as you can see, have a special vinyl design which is about $60.00 per drum, drum sticks I provide are $12.00 dollars, and belts to hold the drums are about $25.00.
The band is growing and at this point, to sustain the growth it has experienced and I did not anticipate for… (Because it is awesome, fun, empowering and the community loves it) we need some additional funds to sustain the growth.
I am trying to reach a goal of $10,000 to continue this amazing project that has taken off more than I ever expected and dreamed, and keep the dreams alive of the group’s members and provide an amazing experience to the community in and around NYC.
Please help keep the drums LOUD and PROUD!
NPR Tiny Desk Promo Video Shoot!
Thanks for the donations! In less than 18 hours we are lucky to have had $175 dollars donated! Still time to go to make $500 before Thanksgiving for our matching anonymous donor! Here is a photo of us post show glow on one of the most famous and iconic photo taking streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This show was for the DUMBO Elephant drop fundraiser!
Hello! Happy Monday and Happy November! We here at FogoAzul NYC have been very busy with the Halloween and NYC Marathon season! We've updated our blog about Halloween! Our very own verbal expert wrote an amazing blog post about our Halloween adventures! Please check it out here!