Eduardo Paim was born in Congo Brazzaville where parents had exiled. As a small boy he fell in love with music after receiving a toy viola from his mother. Eduardo Paim started singing in 1979 with the group “The Pure”. Upon his return to Angola Eduardo found figures that shaped his consciousness and influenced his musical future. It was the encouragement he needed. Between 1982 and 1987 he devoted himself entirely to music. “The Pure” added new members and became “The SOS”. In 1987, “The SOS” were at the peak of their career. In 1988 Eduardo Paim left Angola to go to Portugal. In 1990, Paim reached notoriety in the Portuguese market with the album “Luanda, My Band”. The high point of his career was his second album, “The Kayaya”. In over 30 years of career, Eduardo Paim released eight albums, “Luanda, My Band,” 1991 “November” (1991), “From Kayaya” (1992), “Kambuengo” (1993), “Kanela” (1994 ), “Still Time” (1995), “Mujimbos” (1998) and “Maruvo in the Cup” (2006). Eduardo Paím is widely regarded as one of the founders of the kizomba musical genre.
The Fantastic 4
(Angola & Portugal)
Paulo & Lanna
Paulo Cruz & Lanna Zamora Paul were both born in Angola. Paulo traveled to Portugal when he was 12 to complete studies to become a computer technician. While living in Portugal Angolan music and rhythm remained in Paulo’s blood. Paulo started Kizomba dancing when he was 15 years old and began dancing at African parties throughout Lisbon. Lanna started dancing traditional African dances in Angola when she was 8 years old. Then she traveled to Portugal at age 11 years old to study. Both live in Lisbon and became members of traditional ballet Kilandukilu, led by the famous Master Angolan Professor Petchú. The group developed their experience in traditional African dances such as Afro House, Kuduro, Tarraxinha, Tribal, Semba and Kizomba. Paulo Cruz participated in the International Championship of Kizomba in 2011 and ranked in 3rd place! They teach Afro House, Kuduro, Tarraxinha, Tribal (African Rhythms), Semba and Kizomba in Lisbon and Europe while traveling to teach at some of the biggest Kizomba events in the world.
Susana & Miguel
Both born in Lisboa, Portugal Miguel Monteiro and Susana Amado started dancing Afro-Brazilian Dances at an early page. Miguel was born in a poor neighborhood in Lisboa called Quinta da Montanha, Portugal. He started dancing Afro-Brazilian dances and Capoeira at the age of 16. Kizomba came into his life at an early age because of all the Angolan cultural influences that was around him in his youth. In 2008 Miguel met Susana Amado in a dance school called BSM Academia and after 3 years of dancing together they started teaching Kizomba and Semba. Susana Amado has been dancing since she was 10, dancing Portuguese traditional dances. Today they teach workshops and give shows around the world and it is their goal to give people our prespective of Kizomba and Semba.
David & Guida
David Campos is of French and Portuguese origins. He comes from Paris, France where he was trained in his dance techniques. He is one of the pioneers of Kizomba in the US and teach more than 8 classes every week since 2010. He has been spreading his love and knowledge for kizomba through his classes in New York and New Jersey but he also teaches all over the US & internationally throughout various festivals, congresses and workshops. David is first and foremost impassioned by the stage, where he practiced for over 15 years as an actor and dancer, expanding his capacity for body language. Gradually this attention turned towards dance, mainly Latin, such as Cuban Salsa, but also Kizomba . For him the body is able to express as much emotion as the voice. Since then, he seeks to find in those two complementary disciplines a way to transmit and share them with movement, precision, connection, and grace.
Guida Rei is Portuguese, born and raised in Portugal. Together they bring their unique style, passion and kizomba dance skills to hundreds of dancers. David and Guida inspire the feeling, passion and connection the Kizomba Dance brings to life. The believe in being in the moment and to follow the beat of your heart where the perfect synergy between two dancers gives birth to harmony, exaltation of senses and sensuality.
Jamba and Adoree’
Jamba began his artistic career in Elumbu, Angola, a small community theater group from Luanda, where he also worked as a Human Right activist. He moved to Prague, Czech Republic in 2001 to continue his studies in Experimental Media. He started dancing and teaching in 2002 and since then has worked with different dance groups like Ba To Cu, African Ballet Company and Tradicion Dance Group, where he works at the present moment as a dancer and choreographer. Jamba is the cofounder of Kizomba.CZ Dance Group and one of the main promoters of Kizomba and other Afro Latin dances in Czech Republic and Europe.
Adoree Johnson is a uniquely gifted wide range performer with a commanding stage presence. This prodigiously talented girl originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma in the USA received her education from Pennsylvania State University and after singing for the TV Show American Idol 2004 she later moved to Washington, DC earning her MFA in Jazz Performance all the while dancing salsa, kizomba/semba, and west african traditional dance.
Kenneth Kimani, known professionally as Brayo Judah, is one of the most widely sought after dancers in the Modern African dance industry. Dancing for almost 30 years, Brayo began training in dance schools in his hometown, Nairobi, Kenya, with his training covering styles such as soukous, hip-hop, salsa, gumboot, and kwaito. Inspired by this diverse training, Brayo began choreographing his own routines. Soon he was competing in—and winning—local competitions, which caught the eye of major Kenyan and East African recording artists like Peter Odera who sought the energy, creativity and fresh approach that Brayo brought to the stage. In the late 1990s, Brayo began touring and working with international artist Eric Wanaina, as the lead choreographer for his music videos and album launch. Wanaina went on to credit Brayo’s distinctive and innovate work with much of the success of his bestselling ‘Sawa Sawa’ album. In the early 2000s, Brayo traveled the globe, performing in dozens of countries alongside major recording artist, Nameless, as dancer and lead choreographer for his videos and international tour. Brayo’s work on Nameless’ video, “Juju”, received great acclaim and was nominated for a coveted MTV Europe Music Award. Since his success with Nameless, Brayo has gone on to perform with or open for international artists such as Sean Paul, Shaggy, Koffi Olomide, Fally Ipupa, Jabali Afrika and Awilo Longomba.
Benga is a Nigerian born international dancing sensation, he has immense experience in several global arts, music, and dance styles across the globe. He is well-known in the Latin dance community for his vibrant styles of Afro Stylez Immersion & Fusion artistry. He is an Afro-fusion performing artist, an International Afro-Latin DJ and a vibrant Master of Ceremony aka International Prince of Afro Beatz. He is the Founder & Owner of Beatz Evolution and Beatz Entertainment.
Monica & Billy
Monica Kay and Billy Myles co-direct Kizomba Harmony, a dance organization that offers consistent weekly classes in Houston, TX, a dance team that performs innovative kizomba and semba routines, and event production. Billy and Monica also teach at festivals and workshops across the US and internationally. In addition, they are the creators of Kizomba To Go™, the first downloadable Kizomba mobile instructional app in the world which has been downloaded in over 44 countries spanning six continents and counting!
Mike & Melissa
Of Pittsburgh, PA and Steel City Kizomba
DJ Guelas (pronounced “Geh-Luss”) is one of the most prominent personalities in the African immigrant entertainment community, with fifteen years of experience in spinning music. His collaborations are a who’s who list of the Afro-zouk and Kizomba world of celebrities. Some of these notable names include Kaysha, Nelson Freitas, Ali Angel and Susana Lubrano. Guelas is an award nominated international DJ. From Lisbon and Rome to San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Guelas has attracted fans from across the globe with his diverse and exciting DJing sets.
Born to Cape Verdean parents in Lisbon, Luis Miguel, commonly known to his fans as DJ Guelas, is a phenomenon in the world of Afro-Zouk and Kizomba music. His passion for music began at an early age as he listened to his parents’ favorite albums from Cape Verde, Brasil, and United States, which included Morna, Coladera, Samba, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz. At the age of eighteen, Guelas immigrated to the United States. His curiosity and interest in spinning music began in the winter of 1997, after frequenting the local club scene in the New England city of Providence, RI and also in Lisbon, Portugal. He made his DJ debut in May 1998, at a local club in Providence. As a result, he was invited by the promoters to remain as a resident DJ. Since then, his career has taken off to exciting heights.
DJ Guelas is a founding member of the popular U.S.-based DJ group, Lights Out, with DJ Baby T, DJ Lefty, and DJ Chris. Founded in 2005, Lights Out’s mission is to expose and promote music artists, including DJs, in Cape Verdean communities and incorporate lusophone music in major worldwide markets. Since its inception, the Lights Out group has released over nine CDs and one DVD. They have toured various European countries as well as Brazil and Cape Verde promoting their work. The Lights Out DJs also launched crioloradio.com, a 24-hour online music radio station. Audiences can enjoy the sounds of and interact with each DJ on a weekly basis and in real time. DJ Guelas’ weekly show, Lusophone Vibes is on air Tuesday nights on crioloradio.com with audiences in all major continents. As a member of Lights Out DJs, Guelas was nominated for “Best DJ” for the 2011 and 2012 Cabo Verde Music Awards.