The Story of Raio De Sol

Raio de Sol is Canberra’s community samba drumming band, bringing the Brazilian rhythms of samba to the ACT. Raio de Sol – meaning ‘sunbeam’ in Portuguese, is open to anyone regardless of musical ability or previous experience, and has played more than 50 gigs across the ACT in the last year.

Raio de Sol’s founder, Niraj (Nij) Lal, learnt samba with Arco Iris while studying for his PhD in the UK. Nij fell in love with the rhythms and brought them back with him to Canberra where one spring evening in October 2013 the idea for Raio de Sol was born. The first rehearsal began with 8 drummers at the Downer Community Hall playing on a bateria consisting of a repurposed drum kit from the tip, two djembes and a bunch of pots and pans. It was the start of something magical.

Two ACT Government Community Participation Grants later, Raio de Sol now consists of over 30 regular members with a complete samba bateria, reaching out to 100s across our mailing list and facebook page. We have played everything from small scale gigs at local ACT live music venues, to fundraising gigs for Hartley Lifecare, to opening TEDx Canberra in 2014.

Our band comprises people from across the world - Brazilian, Zimbabwean, Mexican, Japanese, South African, Indian, Fijian, Columbian, Italian, Indonesian, British and Australian, and we come from a super wide range of working backgrounds – students, chefs, public servants, doctors, retirees, teachers, unemployed, economists, diplomats. We have new people at almost every rehearsal - our band is growing.

Raio de Sol is apolitical, non-religious and non-discriminatory - anyone and everyone from all walks of life is welcome to join, regardless of musical ability. We provide the drums and the rhythms, all you need to bring is a smile and a love for beats.

Practice and performances are completely voluntary and you only have to attend one practice before you can play at a gig.

Never heard samba? Check out our videos. Follow us on Facebook to find out more our gigs. Contact us if you want to come and play.

Previous Gigs
26/10/14 : Belconnen Winds Festival
1/11/14: Zombie Walk, Garema Place
1/11/14: Day of the Dead Celebration, Croation Club
2/11/14: Hartley Hall Markets
2/11/14: Support act for Afro Moses, Iron Bar
8/11/14: Woden Valley Festival
9/11/14: Orana School Fete
15/11/14: Gigs on the Green, Benambra Intentional Community
23/11/14: Jamieson Trash and Treasure Markets; 40th anniversary celebrations
29/11/13: The Chop Shop, Braddon
5/12/14: Tiny’s Green Shed and Garema Place with Capoeira
5/12/14; The Chop Shop, Braddon
13/12/14: The Chop Shop, Braddon
5/01/15: The Basement, Belconnen
6/02/15: The Front, Lyneham for the O’Connor Community Trade Project
13/02/15: Multi-Cultural Festival, Fringe Festival and parade Canberra – over 2 days and evenings
22/02/15: Canberra’s Brazilian Carnival and The Phoenix supporting Los Chavos
18/02/15: International Cricket Matches – 6 performances over 3 days in February and March
7/03/2015: Mardi Gras Parade, Sydney
14/03/2015: Beach Party, Art Not Apart Festival
16/05/2015: Canberra Roller Derby
23/05/2015: Fund Raiser for The Latin Seniors, St John’s Church
23/05/2015: Fund raiser for People with a Disability Vanuatu, The Polish Club
31/05/2015: Kingston Bus Depot Markets
10/07/2015: Canberra Raiders
11/07/2015: Curry in the City
21/08/2015: Stargazing World Record
19/09/2015: Brazilian Ambassador's house for Window to the World
23/09/2015: Floriade Nightfest
24/09/2015: Floriade Nightfest
25/09/2015: Floriade Nightfest