Casa Samba was founded in 1987 at Tulane University by Mestre Mestre Curtis  Pierre, Bill Lennon, Chuk and Carolyn Barber. On July 21, 1993, Mayor Sidney Bartholomew proclaimed Casa Samba as the first samba school in New Orleans, one the premier cities of Carnival in the world. The group is directed by Mestre Curtis Pierre, and Brasilian master drummer, Mestre Jorge “Alabe” Bezerra. Born and raised in the carnival traditions of New Orleans for over 33 years, he has since 1979 studied Brasilian percussion with Airto Moreira Brasilian drummer for Miles Davis and international touring percussionist like Bill Summers Percussionist for Herbie Hancock, Munyungo Jackson percussionist Stevie Wonder and Ron Powell percussionist for Sergio Mendez & Kenney G. and many more only to mention a few.

          Since 1988 he has studied with many Masters of Samba percussion, whom are known in Brasil as Mestre de Bateria (Maestro of the percussion band). He has studied at some of the top Samba Schools (car naval groups) In Brasil with Mestres like Mestre Marcoa of Salgueiro, Mestre Jonus of Mocidade and Mestre Ailton of Manguera just a few of the on 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 15 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.

     Mestre Curtis Paraded in 2004 Rio de Janeiro carnaval he paraded with the Samba School with Academicos do Salgueiro in the biggest carnaval performance in the world.

     In 2009 Mestre Curtis gave an instructional workshop to members of ILE AYE on Samba from Rio de Janeiro.

Mestre Curtis Pierre was the first person to bring Capoeira to New Orleans the Afro Brasilian martial arts Capoeira Angola has maintain Classes and for over 30 years to present, he was thought byMestre Cobrinha Mansa of Salvador Bahia. Mestre Curtis published his first book on Capoeira Angola in 2017. “Capoeira Angola Movements”

Since 1998, Mestre Curtis  Pierre “The Samba Man” has conducted his interactive Brasilian drumming programs at schools, museums, performing arts centers, workshops, conventions, festivals, and team-building events from California, Oregon, Washington & Washing D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, and internationally in Brasil, Mexico, Japan and Korea.

Video and Movie Appearances:

Movie – GET HARD – Kevin Hart Will Farrow 2016
Publication Ad- Billboard Magazine- Voodou Fest, 2012
Video – Hall and Oates – Pandeiro Acrobatics, 1988
Movie-“Angel Heart“-Drum Coordinator for Ritual Scene, 1988
Publication AD- Billboard magazine interview June/8/96 issue, New Orleans, LA Movie-Interview with a Vampire” New Orleans, LA

Commercial- Birds Eye Food, Riverwalk, New Orleans, LA
Commercial –American Express, Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA
TV Special– Sinbad’s Comedy Strip, Orpheum Theater, New Orleans, LA News Spotlight-Eye on Carnival– WDSU TV, New Orleans, LA Commercial Festival Latino Promotional, New Orleans, LA Commercial –Cabildo Museum Fundraiser- New Orleans, LA Commercial – Rebel Without a Cause Promotional, New Orleans, LA

Album Recording & Appearances:

Alex Martins “Mundo” Recorded 2018.
Mardi Gras Music merging with Brasilian Music– Realsambaman music lable 2016
GallacticCarnivale Electricos, Mestre Curtis  Pierre 2012
Sound of New Orleans 1992-2005, 2009
Dr. John’s Creole Moon, Percussion, 2001
Do Rio Camagua Ao Rio Mississippi , Ricardo Crespo, 2000
New Orleans, LA, Vol. 2, 1999
Mardi Gras in New Orleans [Fine Tune], 1999
Philip Manuel” Time for Love” album 1995
Recorded with Bill Summers – Project Higher Octave, 1994
Casa Samba:” An Afro-Brazilian Fantasy” (first album) 1993
Earl Turbinton and His Quintet 1990
Freedom Song” Ben Hunter & Plantation Posse 1991
Eye of the Tiger” – Jasmine and Ensemble Acoustic de Guatemala 1987
Windswept” –Percussion Inc. 1988
Jasmine featuring Casa Samba” 1989

Master Drummers performed and/or studied with:

Studying with Master drummer Jorge “Alabe” Bezerra of Brasil traditional Afro-Brazilian cultural music formally with ”OBA OBA” international Brazilian tour group March -1995- Present
Studying with master drummer- Marcio Peeter of Ile Aiye Bloco in Salvador Bahia, Brasil Studying with Master Capoeirista Mestre Cobra Mansa, the art and music of Capoeira Angola June-1994-Present
Yvette  – Candomble Priestess of Terriero (House) of Salgueiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 1990-91
Airto Moreira,- renown Brazilian percussionist
Bill Summers– percussionist with Herbie Hancock
Billy Higgins – renown jazz drummer
Tootie Heath of the Heath Brothers
Monyundo Jackson – Percussionist for Pointer Sisters, Stevie Wonder-   Roy Brooks – Aborigine’s percussion choir
Ron Powell– percussionist for Sergio Mendez, Kenny G.
Kwasi Badu– master African drummer from Ghana
Babatunde Olatunji– master African drummer from Nigeria
Ali Camara– master drummer from Senegal
Jose Lorenzo– master Brazilian dancer and percussionist , director of Batucaje Carlos “Patato” Valdez– master Cuban drummer
Lazaro Franco– Samba drummer for Salgueiro Samba School- Rio de Janeiro Gustavo and Guilherme Twin Directors The “Bateria” for Salgueiro Samba School- Rio de Janeiro

Has performed with the following groups or bands:

Casa Samba, Inc.-Founder/Director of the first samba school of New Orleans Jan.1986- Present

Performed at: Miami Escola de Samba Nike Tour in Japan and Korea, August 1997 Mask Dance Voodoo Theater –Founder June 1994- Present

Founder New Orleans Drumming Association (NODA), New Orleans, LA., January 1991- Present
Member of Kumbuka African Dance Collective, New Orleans, LA.,1986-90

Member of Percussion Inc., New Orleans, LA., 1986-90

Founder of Apito and Friends, Los Angeles, CA. January 1983-86

Member of Embra Samba, Los Angeles, CA. July 1983-Sept. 85
Member of Orixas Dance Theater, Los Angeles, CA. Dec. 1982- Dec. 1985

Member of Morinimba West African Dance Troupe, June 1982-Sept. 1984


Artist in Residence, Young Audience, New Orleans, LA 1988- Present
Founder of  a one man Brazilian Performance samba show and musical instrument demonstrations to elementary, middle, and secondary school and college students in the greater New Orleans and surrounding river parishes areas and cities.

Special Performances

Daniella Mercury – Opening act at House of Blues 2020
Neguinho Da Beja Flora The most Famous Samba Singer in the World
N.O.R.D. Lyons Center 2018 Casa Samba Fundraiser concert

Sergio MendezHouston International Festival (2013, 2000)
National Republican Convention-Press Party, September 1988
Southern University in New Orleans, Spring Festival, April 1990
Loyola University, International Week Festival, April 1986-1997
Tulane University-Black Arts Festival, January 1990
Nichols State University February 1989
Xavier University-Cultural Explosion Week, March 1988, 1989
Art Of The Game ” Superbowl Party C.A.C. 1997, New Orleans, LA Gavin Music Convention (1997) New Orleans, LA
NFL Superbowl Parade (1997) New Orleans, LA
NFL Superbowl Media Party (1997) New Orleans, LA McDonald’s International Convention (1996) New Orleans, LA
Opening of African American Museum (1996) Gonzales, LA
Opening Act -Fairmont Hotel for Sergio Mendez (1995) New Orleans, LA Night in Rio (1995) White Springs, WV
Tulane for the New Century Gala Dinner (1994) New Orleans, LA Nominated- Best Latin GroupBig Easy Awards (1994) New Orleans, LA
Neo Hoodoo Festival of the Arts, Contemporary Arts Center (1994), New Orleans, LA Cast Party- “The Client” Movie (1993) New Orleans, LA
Fats Domino Show, Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Grand Opening, Aquarium of the New Orleans, LA
Aquarium of the Americas First Anniversary Celebration- New Orleans, LA
Grand Opening, New Orleans Convention 1987
Center Annex with Ronnie Cole 1988 New Orleans, LA
National Republican Convention- Press Party (1989)
Opening for Fats Domino, Convention Center, (1990) New Orleans, LA
Beach Boys, 1993 Endymion Extravaganza, Superdome New Orleans, LA
Flora Purim & Airto Moriera, Charlie B’s (1993) New Orleans, LA
Kenny Rogers, 1991 Endymion Extravaganza, Superdome, New Orleans, LA Temptations, 1989 Endymion Extravaganza, Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Irma Thomas– Opening Act-Nicholls State University (1989) Thibodeaux, LA
Kool and the Gang – Opening Act- Audubon Zoo (1988) New Orleans, LA
Miami Sound Machine- Opening Act -Hilton Hotel (1988) New Orleans, LA
King Sunny Ade, Opening Act-Tipitinias (1989) New Orleans, LA
Flora Purim & Airto Moriera, Opening -Tipitinias (1987) New Orleans, LA
Patato (Carlos) Valdez and Casa Samba- Storyville Jazz Hall (1989) New Orleans, LA

Solo Performance Opening Acts for the following:

Flora Purim and Airto, Tipitinias, 1988, 1989, 1990, New Orleans, LA Milton Nacimento, Tipitinias, April 1988 New Orleans, LA,
Steel Pulse, Tipitinias, September 1988, New Orleans, LA,
The Waillers, Tipitinias, October 1987 New Orleans, LA

Festivals and Cultural Events

Houston International Festival (2013, 2000)
Voodoo Fest, New Orleans, LA (Oct. 2012) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Kids Tent (1988- Present)
Festival Brasiliero, University of New Orleans (2012, 2010)
Tomato Festival (1993, 92, 91, 90- 2011)
Festival Latina, Audubon Zoo (2010)
Brazilian International Conference, Tulane University (2007)
Juneteeneth Day Festival (1998 -2008)
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival-Casa Samba  (88-00 06-08)
Festival International (1992, 1996, 2004)
Benin Voodoo Priest from Dahome Festival Sanger Theater, (1995)
Carnival Interamericano (Opening Act for Cecila Cruz) (1992,91) New Orleans, LA
Latino Festival Internationa l(Opening Act for Tito Puentes  Festival Latino, Audubon Zoo (1991,90)
French Quarter Festival, French Quarter (1989-91)
Live Arts Festival, Contemporary Art Center
Brazilian Night- LSU Auditorium (95)
Southern University of New Orleans-(95, 98, 2000-02) New Orleans, LA
Loyola University – International Week (90-02) New Orleans, LA
Tulane University – International Week (90-99 07-11) Southern University– International Week (94, New Orleans, LA
Xavier University– Cultural Explosion Week (94) New Orleans, LA
Delgado College– International Week New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras Parades and Performances

Endymion Parade and Coronation (1989-99)
Zulu Coronation & Ball (1994-Present) New Orleans, LA
Mayor’s Official Mardi Gras Ball (1989-99) New Orleans, LA
Jax Brewery Lundi Gras Celebration (1994-97) New Orleans, LA
Arrival of the Zulu King (1994, 95, 96) New Orleans, LA
Endyminon- Samedi Gras Celebration featuring (98 &99) New Orleans, LA Endymion Parade and Coronation (1989-99)
Neville Brothers, Lundi Gras, Spanish Plaza (1987-90) New Orleans, LA
Dr. John, Lundi Gras, Spanish Plaza (1992)
Official Opening Ceremony for Mardi Gras New Orleans, LA
Krewe of Ecor Rouge Parade and Coronation (1994-96) Fairhope, AL
Krewe of Mardi Gras Ball (1995) Lake Charles, LA
Jazz Fest 25th Anniversary International Parade 1994,1996 , New Orleans, LA Mona Lisa and Moon Pie Parade, Slidell, LA (1992, 1993) Slidell, LA
PASEO- Carnival Miami (Parade) 1992, Miami, FL
Krewe of Zulu Parade (1987-89) Orleans, LA
Vieux Carre Parade (1987-98) New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Saints- Pre Game Show, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans,LA Superbowl ’89- Denver Bronco’s Parade, New Orleans, LA
Italian American Parade, French Quarter New Orleans, LA
Hispanic Festival Parade (4 consecutive years) New Orleans, LA
Krewe of Tucks Parade (1986-88) New Orleans, LA