Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | September 9, 2012

September 10, 2012 Host Kathleen Marshall Explores Samba with Maria Vanderhoorst, Lead Choreographer, and Tricia Baxter, First Female Lead Drummer in the 26 Year History of The North Country Fair’s Annual Samba Parade

It’s that time of year again.  Arcata’s annual North Country Fair is just around the corner; and that means SAMBA!  The North Country Fair began in 1974 as

Maria Vanderhoorst (in front) dancing in the North Country Fair’s 2011 Samba Parade

the brainchild of a group of people who call themselves The Same Old People.  In its 38 year history the fair has evolved into one of Arcata’s most beloved events.  And, one of the most anticipated aspects of the fair is its annual Saturday Samba Parade.

Samba was introduced to the Fair in 1986 by Southern Humboldt drummer David Penalosa.  In 1988 dancer Ann Youmans joined creative forces with drummer Jon Lewis and the Samba Parade was born.  Since then the Samba Parade has attracted drummers and dancers from around the county.  There is an inclusivity inherent in Arcata’s Samba culture that has allowed many of them to take leadership roles in turn.

While over the years the majority of local Samba dancers have been women, with a few notable male exceptions, the world of drumming once dominated by men has slowly found its ranks swelling with women.  Each year there are more and more women involved as drummers.   However this year, for the first time in the parade’s history, the lead drummer will be a woman, Tricia Baxter. Tricia and Samba dancer, teacher and choreographer Maria Vanderhoorst have spent hours collaborating on this year’s parade for the Samba community group known as Samba Da Alegria.  Listen as they share some of their favorite Samba music and talk about how they came to know and love all things Samba.

For more information about the North Country Fair and to view it’s schedule of events visit their website at .

For more information about Samba Da Alegria and other Samba resources in Humboldt County visit

The clips of music played during this broadcast were:

‘Ginga’ by Marcus Santos from the album Batukaxe

‘Samba de Elza’ by Dida from the self-titled album Dida

and Track # 10 from the album Il e Aiye

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