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Nego Gato
Afro Brazilian Music & Dance


Sample Songs...

Capoeira E Ou Nao E




Lagrimas No Ar


Berimbau Bateu


Printed Material...

The Nego Gato Study Guide (PDF)



Nego Gato Video 01

Nego Gato Video 02

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Nego Gato

The Nego Gato Afro-Brazilian Music and Dance Ensemble bring to their audiences the rich African influenced rhythms and dances originating in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, a region known for custom deeply rooted in the traditions and spirituality of ancestral Africa.

The ensemble is directed by Jose Sena, known professionally as Nego Gato, to share his experience of growing up on the streets of Salvador immersed in the magical sounds of the Street Musicians, Carnaval, and Camdomble ceremonies. Their repertoire includes works from Afro-Brazilian Folkloric Dances such as Samba, Maculele, and the Dances of the forces of Nature, known as Orixa in Brazil. It features a performance of Capoeira, an African Brazilian martial art that combines dance, gymnastics and acrobatics.

All are accompanied by live percussion and traditional instruments making for an exciting and engaging performance. Join us for an experience of African Brazilian culture through our promotion of cross-cultural understanding, see something global in an authentic way, and interact with our International members, no passport required. Experience the magic of Salvador !

Jose Sena known professionally as Nego Gato is a Master Capoeirista, Composer, Choreographer, Percussionist, Vocalist and Dancer. He is the founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Nego Gato Inc a Pittsburgh based organization with affiliates in New York and Naples Florida. He serves as a consultant and Master Folklorist of African Brazilian Heritage to Lisangua Ya Bato Drum and Dance and the Oliveros Foundation for their production on Nzinga, the Queen King.

He has been performing professionally since the age of 10 and since coming to the United States he has presented performances and residencies in primary and secondary schools and cultural institutions throughout the US , Europe and Japan.

He formed the Nego Gato Afro Brazilian Music and Dance Ensemble to share with audiences the rich history of this diverse culture. "I was born into a spiritual house of African Brazilian traditions. In Brazil this spirituality is know as Candomble and has its roots in Congo-Angola, Benin, Togo and Nigeria. My mother danced for the spirits. When I was in my mother’s womb, I floated around to these rhythms. As a child I witnessed nightly ceremonies whose memories became the driving force of the direction of my life. I am deeply proud of what I have accomplished through my dedication and expertise in my artistry and culture. I can only hope that my work in every community pays respect to my ancestors and my heritage".
Jose Sena


Central to the Mission of Nego Gato is to bring educational opportunities to community schools and organization through educational assembly programs, residencies and workshops. Since his arrival in the US in 1984 Nego Gato and the Ensemble have worked at primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, and cultural institutions. Since 1989 they have been on and are currently on the roster of Young Audiences of New York, and have worked for City Lore of New York both of whom present multi cultural education programs throughout NYC Schools. They are also currently on the roster of Gateway to the Arts of Pittsburgh, PA. Nego Gato has extensive hands on experience working with Special needs children including a residency with 10,000 Blind and Special population children in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the summer of 2005. He has the ability to instill in them a sense of self esteem and confidence by encouraging their physical and musical development. By engaging students in the creative process and inspiring them to emulate artistic professionalism, Jose serves as a positive role model for children of varied economic and cultural backgrounds, providing them with a higher realm of possibilities.


The Nego Gato Music and Dance Ensemble is able to provide your organization with a variety dance and music events. We can design a program suited to the needs of your group. Experience an event you have never seen before in an authentic way.


The Nego Gato Afro Brazilian Ensembles performances feature a diverse variety of musical and dance work.

NEGO GATO BLOCO AFRO PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE features a traditional repertoire of African Brazilian rhythms using only percussion and vocals.

LECTURE DEMONSTRATIONS are conducted by Jose Sena and member of the company, tracing the roots of the culture back to its African roots throughout the Portuguese slave trade and how the culture has been kept alive in Brazil and its relationship to the fight for human rights and dignity in Brazil for people of African descent.

THE NEGO GATO BAND features a mix of American jazz styles mixed with a background of traditional African Brazilian rhythms of Samba, Ijexa, and Candomble. The band can be presented in Concert, for a Dance Party, or in Carnaval style of a street parade. All are featured in the CD entitled "Baiano in New York."

THE FOLKLORIC MUSIC AND DANCE SHOW includes an array of folkloric pieces of African living history as it has existed in Brazil for over 500 years. Samba, Maculele, Dances of the Forces of Nature with their elaborately designed and ornamented costumes, and the acrobatic crowd pleasing martial art of Capoeira, all accompanied by live percussion. The performance engages audiences and involves them throughout the show.