With a mãe de santo as a mother, Bira Santos grew up surrounded by the traditions of Candomblé. He entered into the religion in his twenties, and has since become a serious candomblé practitioner, and is an ogan and alabé of his terreiro, Ilê Axé Omim J’Oba.
As an alabé, or head musician, Bira is responsible for both owning a deep knowledge of traditions and rituals, but also passing that knowledge along to those coming up within the religion. His passion really is around candomblé rhythms and traditions, the teaching, and ensuring that the music and traditions are accurately passed down from generation to generation.
He is often asked to help other musicians perfect their craft, consult on candomblé and Afro-Brazilian music documentaries, and give interviews about the religion, its music, and the traditions.
A sample of some of the candomblé-related projects he has worked on:
- Took part in the recording of a Candomblé documentary under the direction of Nem Brito. No title available at this time. January 30, 2016
- Documentary from the “Artisans of Bahian Culture” series done by TV Brasil discussing the production and use of handmade drums and other local instruments from West Africa used in candomblé and Afro-Brazilian music. 2013
- (Dis)location. Musician for documentary. 2009
- Nexgeneration Interview. 2005
- Recorded the DVD Toques e Danças dos Orixás (Rhythms and dances of the Orixás). 2004
- Agogo Interview in the Dutch magazine Agogo discussing playing candomblé rhythms. 2003
- Candomblé and Catholicism in Brazil, Africa, and Cuba (working title). Producer for the directors from New York (USA).
Bira is available at a day rate to consult on your project. Contact Bira via email or on WhatsApp at +55-71-98669-2147 to coordinate a rate and dates.