Curtis Pierre "The Samba Man" of New Orleans

BIO



Curtis Pierre, New Orleans native percussionist, artistic director and founder of Casa Samba; recognized by Mayor Sidney Barthelemy in a 1993 Proclamation as the first New Orleans based Samba School. He specializes in Brasilian percussion, capoeira and is well known as one of the three best Malabarismo (pandeiro jugglers) in the U.S.

 

    Curtis Pierre first learned about Brasilian percussion in the early 1980's. A long association and friendship with percussionists such as Bill Summers, Munyungo Jackson, Ron Powell and renowned Brasilian drummer/ percussionist Airto Moreira. Airto has always been the "SPARK" that inspired Mr. Pierre and heightened his percussion career in Brasilian folkloric music. In the past twenty-five years he has studied and played with various Samba groups, African dance companies, percussion ensembles, reggae and pop music groups; appeared in video and movie spots and performed solo; he has also studied with Masters (Mestres) of Brasilian dance, drums, percussion and culture.

 

    In the past twenty years he has studied Samba School percussion at several Escola de Samba's in Rio De Janeiro, Brasil including Mestre Mugue, Portela ,19 championships, (1988-90, 92); Vila Isabel, 1 championship, (1989); Mestre Russo, Estacao Primeira de Mangueira, 17 championships,(1989-90); Mestre Louro and Mestre Marcoa, Salgueiro, 10 championships, (1988-92,96,98,00,04,06-07); Mestre Jorjao and Mestre Jonas of Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel , 9 championships, (1988-91,98-99,00,04,06-07) also known as the best Bateria (best band); Mestre Cica, Viradouro, 2 championship (1998,04,06); Mestre Cenoc and Marcio Peeters of ILE AIYE, (1988), first established afro-bloco Samba group in Bahia.
   

    Mr. Pierre studied and trained Capoeira Angola Afro Brasilian Martial Art form with Mestre Joao Pequeno, Mestre Joao Grande, Mestre Jurandir, Mestre Jogo de Dentro, Mestre Morias, Mestre Angolinha, Mestre Bira Accordao, Contra-Mestre Valmir, and his currently studing with Mestre Cobrinha Mansa of Bahia Brasil Mestre Cobra Mansa played a supeior roll in the development of Capoeira Angola in the United States. He was also a performer and the Capoeira choreographer for OBA OBA.
   

   Mr. Pierre Studied with pandeiro juggling withRon Powell, Mestre de Malabarismo (pandeiro juggler, Edgar Aguiar of OBA OBA) from Rio de Janeiro and most recently with Carlinhos “Pandeiro De Ouru” .

   Curtis Pierre currently serves as the director and founder of Casa Samba. He is currently studying with Master Drummer Jorge Alabe, (Bateria director for OBA OBA).  Renowned master drummer Jorge Alabe grew up immersed in the afro-Brasilian religious tradition -Candomblé - and in the rich musical culture of Brasil. He is an "Alabê" of the oldest Candomblé house established by the Africans in Brasil -Casa Branca. The title of "Alabê" means that he has obtained the highest level in drumming and master of ceremony in the Candomblé religion. This name is rarely bestowed on drummers unless they have been initiated, mastered and have years of experience in Candomblé rituals. 

 
COMMUNITY PROJECTS-   

"Roots of Music" Currently work with a New Orleans city wide after school band teaching Samba at
Samba Kids
at the New Orleans Recreation Department  for the past six years.
Works with Stage to Stagenow at the N.O.R.D. Ty Tracy Theatre building with Director and Founder Julie Condy, Theatre Musicals for children for the past 15 years to present
Young Audience Program, Board Consultant  New Orleans, LA
Curtis Pierre:The Samba Man 1988-Present
Performances and workshops in New Orleans public school system & Southern Region; reaching over 1,000,000 children in eighteen plus years.
 

 

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Workshop for Ile Aiye - Instructed a Workshop on Samba from Rio de Janeiro to one the most famous blocos (Samba School from Bahia Ile Aiye)2009

Three months in Brasil culminating with earning a spot in the Bateria of Escola de Samba Salgueiro 2004 for his passionate work ethic, knowledge of Samba and its traditional instruments and recognition of his dedication to Brasilian culture.

Starting the first Samba Summer Camp in New Orleans based entirely around Brasilian culture, CASA SAMBA Brasil CAMP 2005.

Best Camp Summer Director of the Year 2005; Awarded by Charlene Braud, Director, New Orleans Recreation Department

35 years of Study at HKU (Hard Knocks University)
United States Navy Honorable Discharge June 1977
Hahnville High School, Hahnville, LA, Class of 1975