Arts & Culture

Samba in Splott? Why not? Inksplott Interview with Samba Galêz

Just beyond the boundaries of Splott, a Samba Band is playing Brazilian beats and having a whale of a time.  Even better, they’re looking for new members!

This week Inskplott interviews Sian Regan from Samba Galêz to find out more.


Inksplott: Hi Sian, thank you for being interviewed for Inksplott.  Just a few quick questions.  Can you tell us a bit about the business and what you do?

cover photo
Sian: Hi, we’re Samba Galêz, South Wales’ biggest community samba band! The band, which has been practicing and performing for over 20 years, plays an exciting range of rhythms. The music is brought to life by the bands dancers who combine Brazilian moves with a fun and modern style.

We play gigs across Wales and often further afield. We’ve just come back from a tour of the Dordogne, France which was great fun! We’re a very friendly, social band.


Inksplott: Where are you based? 
Sian: Our members are from various places across South Wales, but we meet every Saturday at the hall in Willows High School to practice.


Inksplott: How did you get started?
Sian: The band has been practicing and performing for over 25 years now!

It all started in 1990, in the City Centre Youth Project in Charles Street, Cardiff. Until 2001, it was a project organised by South Wales Intercultural Community Arts (SWICA). The band was called the Cardiff School of Samba, or Samba Gales (with an S). Eventually, the band became independent of SWICA.

It also changed its name to Samba Galêz (with a Z). This was mainly because announcers would call us “Samba Gails”!


Inksplott: And why now in this area?  What brought you here?
Sian: As the band grew a bigger practice space was needed and Willows High School was the perfect place. It’s especially convenient for our members who live in Splott!


Photo by Blue Frog Photograhy

Photo by Blue Frog Photograhy

Inksplott: Why should people come to you?
Sian: This September we’re opening our doors to new members! We’ll be running two courses – one for aspiring percussionists and the other for dancers. These courses are a great opportunity to have a go at some of the band’s instruments, rhythms and moves. Once you’ve been on the course you’re welcome to join the band, no auditions required!

Percussion Course
Starting: Saturday 24th September
Time: 11:15 to 12:15

Dance Course
Starting: Saturday 24th September
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Cost: £30 waged, £25 unwaged

Venue: Willows High, Tremorfa, Cardiff

Number of sessions: 8


We welcome members age 18+ (but we do have members age 16+ who come with an accompanying adult). You don’t need any previous musical or dance experience, just enthusiasm and a spare hour on a Saturday morning! It’s a lovely, friendly band and we have gigs across Wales and beyond.

So whether you would like to learn some Brazilian beats or try fun and funky dance moves there is a course for you!

Booking is essential – contact to enrol or find out more.


Inksplott: What’s your speciality?
Sian: We play rhythms from Brazil to Cuba, Senegal to Tanzania, but our real speciality is being a friendly and welcoming band to anyone who wants to have a go!


Inksplott: Tell us a secret or something about Splott that we won’t know!


Sian: Every Saturday you’ll find a little bit of samba sunshine in Splott – at Samba Galêz practice at Willows!


Thanks Sian, we appreciate the interview.


You can find out more about Samba Galêz by:

Following them on Twitter: @SambaGalez

Like the Facebook pages here: – Percussion – Dance