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 renown 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.” Santo has used dance and music as platform for promoting intercultural interchange, and valorization of Latin American diversity and the African Diaspora. He has also been honored in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and as a pioneer by the World Sokeship Council.