Our history

LSS is proud to be the godparent of Samba in the UK. Formed by a nucleus of 12 musicians on the 31st of January 1984, our colours of green and white were given to us by our first Mestre de batería. This was in honour of one of the greatest Samba Schools in Rio - our patrons Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel.


  • In 1984 the first Samba school in the UK established as London School of Samba (LSS)
  • Gigs played to date total more than 1,000
  • Workshop participants to date total over 31,000
  • Performed to a combined audience of over 1,500,000
  • Performed in UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Algeria, Spain and Hong Kong, China
  • Currently there are over 200 active members
  • Paraded in Notting Hill Carnival for 28 years
  • Won the Carnival in 1986, and came 2nd in 2001 and 3rd in 1990
  • First place in the Samba Bands category in 2009 and 2006
  • Judged in the top ten of the Notting Hill Carnival parade every year since 1999

Our first Carnival parade in 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 over all). 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.