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Isle of Wight band RAW Samba unveils new look for 2023

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RAW Samba has enjoyed something of a re-brand, 22 years after it was first formed.

Now 65 members strong, the band has adopted a fresh look to go with its fresh sounds for 2023.

RAW Samba formed in 2001 when the call went out for enthusiastic percussionists, with no experience required.

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Originally funded through the Ryde Art Works programme (from which it took its name), RAW Samba has since gone from strength to strength.

They have had a small but mighty team plotting and carrying out the changes.

Among the Island businesses involved was digital designer D.H Designs, who produced the logo, which was designed by band members.

Carbon positive T-shirts have been made from post-consumer recycled bottles and a moisture-wicking fabric that’s milled for The Charity Clothing Company.

The hoodies, ethically sourced, were printed by Island company FTP Embroidery.

The logo has been printed onto the drum skins, thanks to a legacy left by a band member who died a few years ago.

The drums have been wrapped with coloured vinyls to keep in theme with the outfits and logo. 

Band chair, Stella Johnstone, said: “The band have all contributed to this amazing overhaul, including our 20 new members we recruited at the beginning of the year after a beginners course.

“It’s been quite a massive thing for us. But we are all ready for carnival season.

“With over 60 members who regularly practise each week, plus our dancers, we bring rhythm, fun and colour to every gig we play at.”

The band is currently led by Yetta Elkins and Jayne Valvona, while the dancers are led by Melanie Griffith.

All ages and abilities are welcome to dance, with self confidence and body confidence heavily promoted.

The costumes are based on Rio style carnival costumes but can be worn by anyone.

The head-dresses have been lovingly made by each member, on a course run by Gina Dyer at the New Carnival Company in Ryde.

Find out more at rawsamba.org.uk or via the Facebook page.

The band choose to do several charity gigs each year, waiving their fees.

Look out for the band at Ryde children’s parade on August 26, Sandown Illuminated Carnival on August 30, and then finishing with both of Ryde’s main carnivals on August 31 and September 2.

RAW Samba is sponsored by Wightlink, for mainland performances.



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