A wealth of knowledge and experience
Contra Mestre BabaJan
Contra Mestre 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.
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 Trovão.
In 2013 Baba started his own Capoeira Angola school in Maryland, now known as Grupo de Capoeira Angola N’golo no Mato. In 2015 Baba Jan received the title of Contra Mestre in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil at the 20th conference of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation.
Grupo de Capoeira Angola N’golo no Mato is located in Hyattsville, Maryland in the United States of America. Contra Mestre Baba Jan leads the group’s regular trainings, rodas and community outreach programs. N’golo no Mato is proud to have Mestre Moraes to orient us, teach us, and help us maintain the ancestral tradition of Capoeira Angola true to form. Through workshops, events, conversations and meetings, Mestre Moraes is a strong presence, excellent resource and wealth of knowledge that we feel honored to learn from.