da Estrada Real / Escola Nova is the West Coast's
oldest, longest-running Brazilian Samba organization.
Our roots run deep and our directors continue to study
the culture at its source. Here is our story, from our
humble beginnings, to our high points, spin-offs, and to
our rebuilding. Whether we parade with 300 or 30, or
whoever is directing, the common thread through the
years is a commitment to Samba Excellence.
Lorenzo, a native of São Salvador (Bahia), Brazil.
Created the Batucajé Brazilian Dance Company in
Oakland. This company became the training ground for
some of the Bay Area's most brilliant dancers and
Percussionists. The group's alumni include Josephine
Morada, Chalo Eduardo, Rick Telesforo, Rudy Ortiz, Rene
Macay, Carlos Azeituno, Dennis Broughton and Jacque
Morada and Chalo Eduardo, fresh from Batucajé, began to
teach Brazilian dance and percussion classes at the Capp
Street Center. Chalo Eduardo becomes new percussionist
for the popular group Viva Brasil.
- Invitation To Dance
was no parade this year, so the newly christened Escola
Nova de Samba held a community Carnaval at Theater
Artaud. Bateria direction was split between Chalo
Eduardo and Rudy Ortiz.
- O Dispeitar As Cores/The Awakening of Colors
parade returns and Escola Nova makes its premier. Parade
route finished at Civic Center. Bateria sported hats
with a representation of Rio de Janeiro's newly
completed Carnaval stadium, the Sambadrom. Celia
Malheiros composed a special Enredo. Batucajé veteran
Rick Telesforo was a last-minute add-on as cuica player.
- Carnaval de Ouro/ The Golden Carnaval
parade route, this time heading south and finishing at
24th Street. Escola Nova made a big splash at judges
reviewing stand and earned a write-up in the San
- Sonhos do Rio/ Dreams of Rio
wore special hats made by Laura Yanow, which honored
Xangô, the Yoruba god of thunder and drums. Marcos
Santos wrote the Enredo. Carlos Azeituno, who would
later form Fogo Na Roupa, was featured as an Escola Nova
member in a San Francisco Examiner magazine spread.
Future members of Birds of Paradise made their SF
Carnaval debut here.
parade route changed to its present form. Escola Nova
dominated parade awards with Grand Prize, First Place
Overall along with other honors for music, costume and
choreography, Conceição Damaceno, who later formed
Ginga Brasil, made her SF Carnaval debut on Escola
Nova repeated as Carnaval Grand Champion with a
300-member strong pageant. Our contingent featured an
awesome 100-piece Bateria, a feat never duplicated.
Escola members were featured on SF Examiner Magazine
with story and photos on their "double lives".
MECA proclaimed that Escola Nova de Samba had elevated
San Francisco's Carnaval to a new level and served as
the main inspiration to all other parade contingents.
- Dawn of the Golden Age
year it rained on Carnaval. Escola Nova made a big
impression on KGO-TV's first televised broadcast of this
event. Chalo Eduardo was shown directing our rehearsal
at Marks Meadow. Enredo was led by Claudio Amaral of
Viva Brasil. Escola Nova was charmed with luck on this
day when the heavy rains commenced moments after our
parade march was completed.
sun shone brightly this time and so did Escola Nova with
our longest, most impressive showing in the television
broadcast. Our parade featured a 30-foot high skeleton
puppet that loomed high over our contingent. Float was
adorned with a large crescent moon face with animated
puppet hands. Special honors were awarded for music and
- Roots of Samba, Rhythms of the Universe
large award-winning presentation. Escola Nova landed
Second Place Overall. Disaster was barely averted with a
chaotic entry towards the television cameras. The
following year, members of this contingent spun off to
form Samba do Coração.
Telesforo stepped in to direct the Bateria to First
Place Music and Brazilian Group, Third Place Overall.
Pageant featured a non-motorized float (pushed by human
power hidden within). Three Cabrocha wings and an
outstanding Baiana section also highlighted this parade.
Francisco landmarks and street signs were featured on
costumes and allegories this year. A late-arriving float
has to be finished as the parade commenced. Raul Rekow
of Santana was a special guest musician. Djembe drums
were introduced to the Bateria.
- The Day of the Butterflies & Ogum
parade made a special tribute to Carnaval founders
Marcus Gordon and Adela Chu, Yoruba orixá, Ogum as well
as to the late Bateria member John Riddel. Dina
Pellegrini was interviewed on KTVU-TV. This was founder
Chalo Eduardo's last parade and the last television
- Maracatú for the Saints
was led by 6-year olds Kevin Telesforo and Serafina
Morada as our Mestre Sala and Porta Bandeira. Rick
Telesforo took the helm as Bateria leader with new
rhythms Maracatú and Coco added to the repertoire. Day
was capped by a raw but highly spirited presentation at
the Festival Stage.
based on special poem composed by Escola Nova Director
Josephine Morada. Rudy Ortiz assumed the command as
Music Director and introduced his own composition,
Ayaguna. Luna Salaver and Dina Pellegrini continued to
wow the crowds with their stunning costumes. Stage
presentation featured Josephine's poem and Axé-inspired
- Ayaguna To The Oceans
refinements to Bateria made by Rudy Ortiz who also was
the lead singer in the stage show. Luna Salaver was
featured in KTVU news broadcast. New Carnaval tradition
was born: the after-parade performer's parking lot
tailgate party (instigated by Rene Macay).
Josephine Morada and Rudy Ortiz visit Rio de Janeiro to
study firsthand the Samba Quadras of Mocidade
Independente and Viradouro. They return with fresh
inspirations for the Escola. Rudy re-tools the Bateria
with a tamborim section playing the most complex,
ambitious patterns to date. All dance choreography and
percussion breaks centered on our Enredo (theme song).
Immediately following the parade, the directors announce
that this is Escola Nova's final pageant and that the
group will appear next year under a new banner - Acadêmicos
da Estrada Real.
- The Warriors of Samba
premier of the re-christened Acadêmicos da Estrada
Real. Josephine and Rudy once again visit Rio de
Janeiro. Our pageant is once again centered around our
Samba Enredo, sung by Jo and Rudy (via cordless
headsets). A new Porta Bandeira / Mestre Sala team is
formed to present our new flag. For the first time in
five years, Acadêmicos da Estrada Real enters San
Francisco Carnaval 2000 as a competitive contingent.
This nets an honor from the MECA judges: Best Brazilian
Music, Third Place. The Escola goes cyber with the
creation of the web page by Phil Wong.
- Cores Luminosos, Espiritos Genial Sai com Acadêmicos
da Estrada Real
Josephine Morada and Rudy Ortiz, along with Bateria Chief Rene
Macay, visited Rio de Janeiro Brazil and paraded in the
Sambadrome with Carnaval Tri-champion Imperatriz Leopoldinese.
They returned with not only inspiration, but with a new theme
song and an official escola flag. The 2001 theme, created by
Bateria member Susan Sullivan, was translated and put to music
to create our first original Enredo. Rene Macay oversaw the
creation of our new Escola Flag, which was hand-crafted in an
authentic Samba School flag shop.
this fresh Brazilian experience, the directors guided the group
to its most elaborate, ambitious, and probably most authentic
pageant ever. Longtime dance standout Dina Pelligrini Santana
accepted the honor of being the first Porta Bandeira to carry
the new flag.
2002: Branco, Anil, e Bronze Colorem Meu Coração – White, Indigo and Bronze
Color My Heart
On a warm but foggy day the
revelers of Acadêmicos da Estrada Real gathered for our 20th
consecutive parade. Bedecked in dazzling white and blue, the cloudy weather
actually enhanced the colors of our fantasias.
Director Josephine Morada
and the venerable Jesse Adams re-united as the Porta Bandeira and Mestre
Sala. The music never sounded better when the Sound Truck (complemented by a
Cavaquinho player Carlinhos Oliveira and Singer Aurea Onorato) was
placed directly behind the Bateria. This allowed Director Rudy Ortiz to focus on
conducting the Bateria to
synchronized perfection. Shawna McCoy, Bethica
Quinn and Norma Espinoza led the Commissão da Frente’s special
choreography. After being missed
for years, Mercedes Arvelo-Romero and Sandra Nova returned to dance in the Luz,
Paz, Amor e Esperança wing. Serafina Morada-Angulo led her 6th
Grade classmates in a special wing, dressed as elegant Bahianas. 12-year old
Kevin Telesforo learned to play Caixa (snare drum) in time to join his
dad, Rick Telesforo in the Bateria. Andrew Scott took up the challenge of
playing lead Repinique. Laura Morales sizzled in her second appearance as
the Rainha da Bateria. This year’s special kudos go to Jody Reshaw,
Bethica Quinn, Caroline Ayres and Laura Morales for their diligence and hard
work. Another special thanks goes to Susanna Atwood for procuring the lovely
blue necklaces for the Bainas and Baianinhas. Credit for building
the Sound Truck goes to David Webster, Phil Ibarra, Andy Scott, Phil Wong, Ellery Brown, Rene
Macay and Jesse Adams.
A perfect parade was
followed by a perfect tailgate party. Our
parade march was completed early enough to allow everybody to rest up for the
finale appearance in the Festival Stage. The excitement generated by the large
crowd in front of the stage inspired the dancers and drummers to put out their
best. Our electrifying performance whipped up the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy.
All in all it has been one of our most memorable Carnavals to date.