Philip Galinsky

Performer & Educator

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Philip Galinsky is a percussionist and ethnomusicologist specializing in Brazilian music. Conducting music research in Brazil since 1993, he has published widely in the field of ethnomusicology, including pioneering work on the pagode samba and mangue beat movements. He holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where his doctoral dissertation, Maracatu Atômico, was selected for publication in Routledge's Outstanding Dissertations series. Dr. Galinsky has taught ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, UC Davis, and Hampshire College, also founding and directing samba percussion ensembles at each of these schools.

Dr. Galinsky is the founder, director, and principal percussionist of Samba New York! (, praised by the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo as the “most famous and active ‘school of samba’ in New York City.” The group has been featured on Brazil’s most widely viewed nightly news program (TV Globo’s O Jornal Nacional) as well as on the Dr. Oz Show (Fox) and CBS Early Show in the US. Samba New York’s performance credits comprise some of the New York area’s most prestigious venues, including the Best Buy Theater in Times Square (opening for the famous Brazilian band, Skank), Joe's Pub, Brooklyn Museum, and Sounds of Brazil. The group has become a mainstay at the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (serving as the head band twice), while also helping to make the success of such local events as “Samba with the Sea Lions” at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo and the popular Fire On the Water Brazilian boat cruise along the Hudson River. Samba New York’s clients include Kraft Foods, Pepsi Co., Starbucks, Bloomberg, Carnegie Hall, Macy’s, and the State Secretaries of Tourism of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, and Amazonas States in Brazil, among many others.

As a percussionist, Dr. Galinsky has studied with various master Brazilian drummers, including Jorge Alabê, Jonas de Oliveira, and Odilon Costa. He has performed in the Rio Carnaval since 1999 with some of the world’s most renowned samba schools, including Mocidade, Salgueiro, and Imperatriz—a rare honor for a non-Brazilian.

Dr. Galinsky has been lauded as one of the foremost educators of Brazilian percussion in the United States. Since 1994, he has taught hundreds of samba students, including the leaders of such groups as Phillybloco, Harlem Samba, Mais Um, and Batala NYC. He has given workshops or held residencies at such institutions as NYU, City University of New York Graduate Center, Stony Brook University, Drummers Collective, Frederick Douglass Academy, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty of the California Brazil Camp in Cazadero, California since 2009 and regularly teaches percussion courses through Samba New York!

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Samba New York! - Bateria 102
Samba New York! - Bateria 101
RIO: Samba City - Promo