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Contra Mestre BabaJan

Livaldi "BabaJan" da Cruz was born and raised in Massarunduba, in the Lower City of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.  He has been training Capoeira Angola for over 30 years and has been a practicing and performing musician for more than 20 years.

Baba began to practice capoeira at the age of 10 with GCAP, through the project "Ginga Moleque" with Mestre Valmir and Mestre Poloca sponsored by Uniao e Conscienia Negra. He continued to train with Mestre Moraes and Mestre Cobra Mansa until 2000 when Baba entered FICA Bahia as a senior student of Mestre Valmir.

In 2003 Baba was invited to come from Brazil to Washington DC to be the director of a residency program at Kamit Institute for Magnificent Achievers (KIMA) public charter school.  There, using Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian music, he developed a unique program of physical education and music studies for high school and middle school students.  At this time Baba also became one of the teachers at FICA DC and founded the samba reggae group Samba Trovao.

In 2013 Baba started his own chapter of FICA in Maryland.  In 2015 BabaJan received the title of Contra Mestre in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil at the 20th conference of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF or FICA).

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