|Curtis Pierre “The Samba Man|
| Curtis Pierre “The Samba Man” of New Orleans.|
Aka Mestre Curtis Pierre. About “The Samba Man” of New Orleans.
He is the founder and director of Casa Samba, the first School of Samba in Louisiana and the Southern Region. Born and raised in the carnival traditions of New Orleans for the first 20 years. He was introduced to Brasilian percussion in 1979 by Airto Moreira, world renown Brasilian drummer for Miles Davis. He later studies percussion with Bill Summers, percussionist for Herbie Hancock; Munyungo Jackson, percussionist for Stevie Wonder; and Ron Powell, percussionist for Sergio Mendez & Kenney G. just to name a few. Born and raised in the carnival traditions of New Orleans for the first 55 years ago.Like the doctor Mr. Curtis has a title that should mention before his name:
Mestre meaning – Master Teacher/Cultural Guardian
in this case, we’re speaking of Brasilian culture. This achievement cannot be obtained at any university in the world. As a matter of fact he was instrumental in providing information to graduate students from Tulane University, Loyola University and the University of New Orleans about Brazilian culture in New Orleans as it relates to Carnival in New Orleans and how the Afro Brazilian martial art Capoeira is related to our Mardi Gras Indian culture and Samba Schools are related to the secondline groups of today.
Mestre Curtis can be classified as the only American in the United States who has reached a Master level in Brazilian cultures meaning that he is the first person in this country to be recognized as a master of Capoeira the first original African martial art to leave Africa and a master of Brazilian percussion and the first to bring Master Brasilian teachers to New Orleans in the early ’90s. This is known by only a handful of people in the United States. Mestre Curtis has dedicated his life to his African roots of culture which he found in Brazil after 40 years ago.
Mestre Curtis has also published his first book on the Afro Brazilian Martial Art Capoeira. Mestre has polished his skills enough to teach workshop in 2009, he gave a workshop to members of ILE AYE on Samba from Rio de Janeiro.
Since 1988 he has studied with many Masters of Samba percussion, who is known in Brasil as Mestre de Bateria (Maestro of the percussion band). Curtis has studied at some of the top Samba Schools (carnaval groups) in Brasil with Mestres like Mestre Marcoa of Salgueiro, Mestre Jonus of Mocidade and Mestre Ailton of Mangueira just a few of the ones a long list of the very best. He has studied exclusively with master Brasilian folkloric and percussionist, Jorge Alabe from Rio de Janeiro in self-supported residency endeavor for over 25 years. In the past 10 years, he has also studied with master percussionist Marcio Peters from the world famous Brasilian Samba School, Ile Aye in Salvador Bahia.
In 2004, Mestre Curtis paraded with the percussion group for Salgueiro in Rio de Janeiro Carnaval, the biggest Carnaval performance in the world. In addition to all this, Mestre Curtis is a teacher of the Afro Brasilian martial arts Capoeira Angola for over 30 years. He was taught by his master teacher of Capoeira Angola, Mestre Cobrinha Mansa of Salvador Bahia from 1995-2007.