History of the London School of Samba

The first London School of Samba Carnival Parade at Notting Hill was in honour of Mocidade our godmother school.  They were also guests of honour when we played with them at the 3rd European Samba Encontro in London in 1989, and again for our 25th anniversary at Notting Hill Carnival in 2009.

Of the drummers who were founding or early members of our School a remarkable number were amongst the best Samba, Salsa or Jazz musicians in this country at the time – notably João Bosco de Oliveira (Mestre de batería), Robin Jones (who went on to form King Salsa), Roberta Pla (who formed Valdez, the first Salsa band in London), Alan Hayman, Gerry Hunt, Carlos & Pato Fuentes, Dave Patman, Liliana Chachian, German Santana, Hamish Orr, Dawson Miller and Dave Bitelli amongst others.

LSS played its first official gig at Covent Garden Piazza on April 1st 1984. In August 1984, we were the first Samba School to play at the Notting Hill Carnival and introduced Brazilian Carnival to the parade. Since then, we have achieved the best results so far for any non-Caribbean band in the Notting Hill Carnival (first place in the Samba category in 2009 and 2006 as well as third place overall). For the last five years, we have consistently been in the top ten of all the parading bands in the Notting Hill Carnival.

Our other major performances over the last 30 years include concerts throughout the UK and Europe. We welcome new members to our ranks – join LSS for open access dance and percussion classes in Waterloo every Sunday.

Notting Hill Carnival History of Themes for London School of Samba 

We have been parading in the Notting Hill Carnival and another parade since 1984. Please find below a full list of our carnival themes. Follow the links for more information, photos and an overview of that year’s theme.

2021 – London School of Samba invited to Perform at Panorama 2021
2020 – Notting Hill Carnival cancelled due to Covid19 restrictions
2019 – “Dancing in the Street: A tribute to Music”
2018 – Yemanja – Para As Belezas De Mar
2017 – Sambafari – The Last Safari
2016 – Somewhere Under The Rainbow
2015 – Voodoo Samba: The Dark Cabaret
2014 – Celebrating 30 years of LSS, Ambassadors of Samba…
2013 – Children of the Sun: The Quest for El Dorado
2012 – Passing the Flame
2011 – Zé Malandro and the Forty Thieves
2010 – Gods, Myths and Monsters
2009 – A History of Samba
2008 – The Green Man
2007 – 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade
2006 – All aboard the LSS: Uma Viagem Através do Mar de Londres a Brasil
2005 – United in Green & White on the Road for Peace & Hope
2004 – Feliz Aniversário Unidos de Londres é Carnaval de Notting Hill
2003 – Black Orpheus in Notting Hill
2002 – A World in the Balance
2001 – The Future is Here: Let’s shake it up!
2000 – 500 Years, Happy Birthday Brazil!
1999 – Flying Down to Rio
1998 – Burning Up!
1997 – Colours of Brazil
1996 – Sambaquarius
1995 – Star Trek – Human Aspiration & Exploration
1994 – Carnival: Passion of the World
1993 – Riches of the Amazon
1992 – LSS performed at Edinburgh Festival instead of Notting Hill Carnival
1991 – Behind the Mask
1990 – Africa, Brazil, London
1989 – Fire in the Forest
1988 – Gods of Freedom
1987 – Black Brazil – The Culture and the Liberty
1986 – Alice in Sambaland
1985 – If you’ve never heard Samba, Listen!
1984 – Homage to Mocidade and Padre Miguel

Rainhas da Bateria

We had our first queen in 1994 and there have now been 20 different Rainha Da Bateria. To see the full list please visit the archive page here>>>

2018 – 2019 Nina Appio

(Photo: haridas_dop )

2017 – 2018 Lucy Laetitia

(Photo: Brian Guttridge)

2016 – 2017 Hannah Acido

(Photo: Wayne Campbell)