Jose Aponte, current conductor.
Escolas de Samba, or “Samba Schools,” are part of the tradition of the Brazilian Carnival street parades. Every year, these ensembles, which number in the thousands, are formed from various members of different communities and take to the streets during the Carnival celebration. One ensemble alone can have as many as 600 percussionists and up to 4000 dancers. The style of Samba that these ensembles perform is called Batacuda. The Batacuda ensemble consists of a variety of percussion instruments such as the Caixa, the Pandiero, the Tambourim, the Frigidera, the Agogo Bells, the Reco-Reco, the Ganza and Chocalho, the Repinique, and Surdos.