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About us

Loud and lively, energetic and dynamic - The Edinburgh Samba School (TESS) is a regular and popular feature of community festivals and special events in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Britain and Europe.

From our humble beginnings in 1992 we have grown to become a loud and lively performance group specialising in authentic rhythms from the flamboyant Carnival culture of Brazil. Samba is the heartbeat of celebration, street parties, dance, and fun - our aim is to promote Brazilian carnival culture throughout the UK and Europe.

All funds raised by TESS are used to sustain the group’s activities in the community - teaching, rehearsing, purchase and maintenance of instruments - as well as a variety of outreach projects.

Lucia samba dancer

TESS has performed at many high profile events in Edinburgh including the Murrayfield Rugby 7s, the Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade, the Jazz and Blues Festival Mardi Gras, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and many more. We’ve also performed further afield, including in the Tenerife Carnival (the largest outside Rio!), Amsterdam’s King’s Day, and the Fête de la Musique in Paris.

We also drum and dance for street festivals, private parties, community or corporate events, club gigs - anything that requires a loud party atmosphere.

Hire us

TESS at the Tenerife Carnival 2014

TESS runs regular percussion and dance courses for anyone who is interested in performing with us or fancies giving it a try - it’s great fun! There are plenty of other ways to get involved too.

If you’d like to see more of us in action, take a look at our Facebook gallery and Youtube channel.


TESS samba drumming class

Hire us

Samba adds colour, excitement and spectacle, and we can tailor our performance to suit any event, large or small

TESS playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


We perform regularly in festivals, carnival parades, nightclubs, and at corporate, community and sporting events.

The kind of performance can vary greatly, from a short set on a stage or dance floor to a full-blown carnival parade with dancers. We can tailor our performance to suit any event, large or small - contact us to discuss your event requirements.

Check out some videos of our performances below, or on our Youtube channel.

TESS samba drumming workshop


We have considerable experience in running workshops in samba drumming, covering a wide range of requirements from team-building for corporate clients to community events with school-children and people with special needs. We will carefully tailor workshops to your needs, and instruments can be supplied on request.


Drum with the Edinburgh Samba School

Street Drumming Courses

Due to Covid-19 our spring drumming course has been postponed. We plan to run it in autumn if possible. Stay safe everyone.

Joining the main band

If you enjoy our street drumming course and are interested in joining the main band and performing with us then talk to the teachers on your course. Joining the main band comes with a steep learning curve, so natural ability and a commitment to drumming is vital. Entry to the main band also depends on the requirements of different sections, which change over time.

Want to hear more?

We have our very own CD, Segure O Baque, recorded with our Brazilian friend Allysson Velez.

The CD is available for purchase for only £7.50 inc postage and packing. Please allow 21 days for delivery.

The Edinburgh Samba School CD


Dance with the Edinburgh Samba School

Dance classes

Dance information coming soon ...

Perform with us

Dancers who attend the classes regularly and feel confident with the basic steps may be asked to join us in performing. We dance alongside the drummers as part of a gala day parade/festival, or in static performances, such as club gigs. Most performances involve some freestyle dancing as we follow the drumming band and there are also occasions when we dance choreographed routines or steps, either with the band or with recorded music.

We encourage dancers to create or purchase their own show-stopping samba costumes and headdresses for Samba performances. We have headdresses, skirts and tops which dancers can use for standard gigs and folkloric dances, such as maracatu and Ciranda. We also arrange occasional headdress and costume making workshops for those who want to make their own or contribute to the TESS collection.

Contact Us

Get in touch with TESS

You can send us a message by email at contact@edinburghsambaschool.org, or through our Facebook page.

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