Mindfulness, Meditation and Samba, Of Course!
It wasn’t until attending university, that Sean Park started to play percussion and fell in love with Samba. “My friend Ty Keshet asked me to play a shaker with Samba Elegua at a New Year’s Eve rave and I was hooked.” So hooked that Park continued to play with the group for eight more years in Toronto. During this time, he also played with a West African Group, “Ainike” alongside Karen Hack and Richard Underhill (Shuffle Demons).
While completing an MA in Education at the University of Toronto, Park also studied Daoist martial arts, theatre work, and Afro-Brazillian percussion.
Park later moved to Vancouver to complete his PhD and continued to play Samba with Vancouver-based Bloco Energia.
He attributes his passion for Samba to the experience of seeing how a large collective of people of varying abilities could come together and create, “earth quakin’, booty shaking, no fakin’ music” in the streets.
Park says, “The repertoire, instrumentation and orchestration can be both readily accessible and exceptionally demanding. Putting all the parts together, it’s hard not to feel ecstatically alive.”
“With respect to the Samba groove itself, it’s swing, pushes and pulls me in ways that make my heart sing. More and more I want this pulse to reverberate inside of me. “
“We invite people with a range of musical abilities to learn the rhythms and the repertoire. At some point, we will add in horns and dancers for a real wicked show. We are all a little nutty and also do our best to bring this out in our rehearsals and performances.”
When asked if he can relate any of the benefits of playing to his mindfulness practice, Park says, “When you’re playing, there isn’t much room to think or analyze. The beat keeps pushing and pulling you. Sure, you make ‘mistakes’ but the music keeps going and you keep getting back on board. Because the experience is really embodied – you really have to move and use your body to feel the music – it’s a most exceptional mindfulness practice.
Interested in joining the community Samba band? Join in on Sunday evenings from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the Cotton Factory Event Space, located on the 3rd floor of 272 Sherman Avenue North, Hamilton, ON. The first time is always free, after that, it is a $20/month donation.