Professora Minha Velha

Mestre Amen Santo

Dana Maman (Professora Minha Velha) was born in Tel Aviv Israel, to Jewish immigrant parent of Moroccan and Persian decent. She started her involvement with music at the age of six with the violin, learning classical music and musicianship in the Catherine Luis Music Conservatory in Tel Aviv. Maman learned the violin for 13 years, traveling to England, Germany, and the Netherlands participating in various youth orchestras and musical groups. During the same time of her formal violin training, Maman played percussion as well. In her late high-school years she began learning more about Afro-Brazilian music and percussion due to her involvement with capoeira. In 2001 she moved to Los Angeles and became part of Capoeira Batuque, furthering her studies of capoeira and percussion under Master Teacher, Mestre Amen Santo. 


A native of Salvador Bahia, Mestre Amen Santo is a recognized Mestre de Capoeira, master drummer, and is the Artistic Director of the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center. He began his artistic career under the guidance of Mestre Waldemar and Mestre Avila in Liberdade, Bahia, Brazil. His was mentored as a performer by Negão de Doni (percussion) and Emilia Biancardi (dance) and toured internationally as a member of Brazil’s historic premiere folk ensemble Viva Bahia. In 1989, he founded the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center that serves as the home base for a professional touring ensemble (the Ballet Folclòrico do Brasil) and the internationally renowned and longest standing capoeira school in Southern California, Capoeira Batuque. Santo helped bring capoeira to a worldwide audience through his performance and choreography in feature films including “Only the Strong” and “Kickboxer IV.”