Mestre Deraldo Ferreira is Founder and Artistic Director of The Brazilian Cultural Center of New England, one of three Brazilian Cultural Points in the US, designated by then Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil. A Mestre (official master) of Capoeira, Mestre Deraldo brings a 35-year tenure in Capoeira, Samba drumming and dancing, musical composition, and choreography. He is among the first to bring the Capoeira art form and Afro-Brazilian Samba dance and percussion to North America.
Mestre Deraldo began studying Capoeira at the age of 14. He founded the Academy of Capoeira in his hometown of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, and he became a certified Mestre of Capoeira in 1984. Mr. Ferreira studied Capoeira Angola with Grand Mestre João Pequeno, student of Grand Mestre Pastinha, the “father and protector of capoeira” from an early age in Brazil. Grand Mestre João Pequeno graduated Mr. Ferreira as a Master of Capoeira Angola (the traditional form of Capoeira) in 2004. Mestre Deraldo also studied for many years under Grand Mestre João Grande, and considers him one of his greatest inspirations in Capoeira Angola.
The Brazilian Cultural Center of New England is home to Mestre Deraldo Ferreira’s School of Capoeira Angola as well as to his Samba dance and Afro-Brazilian percussion classes. Mestre Deraldo has founded Capoeira schools in Montreal, Canada, in Sardinia, Italy, and Santos – Sao Paulo, Brazil. over the past 30 years has taught regular classes and workshops at Amherst College, Brown University, Hampshire College, MIT, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.
Mr. Ferreira has been a featured music and dance soloist with Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión Según San Marcos, since its inception in 2000. In the 1990’s, he founded Boston’s premiere Brazilian music and dance troupe Samba Tremeterra, which put on exhilarating shows around New England over the course of 15 years. As a long-time performer with Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Mr. Ferreira regularly presented educational shows on Afro-Brazilian history and culture at schools throughout the state.
Mr. Ferreira recently went back to Brazil for four years (2011-2015). He lived in the Porto Seguro area of Southern Bahia, and taught Capoeira Angola to children of the Pataxó Indigenous tribe and other local communities.