Bembé Team

Johanna de los Santos,  Director    Johanna De Los Santos (BA-University of Wisconsin, Latin American Studies, MA-New York University-Latin American and Caribbean Studies) has dedicated over 20 years of professional work, community volunteerism and academic study toward using the integration of Latino/Latin American/Caribbean and general creative arts & media to advance inside-out personal and community development. Since 2007, she has been Executive Director of the New York City-based youth development non-profit, Art Start, that uses the creative arts to facilitate personal development with homeless youth and those at risk of incarceration. Prior to joining     Art Start, she spent years revolutionizing the indie film industry’s release platform by pioneering the “Social Outreach Campaign” for two major motion picture film releases, Favela Rising (2005) and The Hip Hop Project (2007), taking conscious, independent film on nationwide tours through under-served communities, homeless shelters and juvenile detention facilities as a part of their distributor’s traditional release campaign. From 2003-2005, Johanna served as Manager of Community Partnerships for the New York International Latino Film Festival and holds three years of corporate business planning expertise from the multinational Briggs & Stratton Corporation. In 2010 she received "Non-Profiteer of the Year" award from the New York Association of Non-Profit Professionals and in 2015 received the "Cultural Arts Volunteer of the Year" award from the United Community Center for her work establishing the foundation of   Bembé   at the Bruce-Guadalupe Community Schools and UCC Senior Center. A Milwaukee-native, she is also a South Side parent.

Johanna de los Santos, Director

Johanna De Los Santos (BA-University of Wisconsin, Latin American Studies, MA-New York University-Latin American and Caribbean Studies) has dedicated over 20 years of professional work, community volunteerism and academic study toward using the integration of Latino/Latin American/Caribbean and general creative arts & media to advance inside-out personal and community development. Since 2007, she has been Executive Director of the New York City-based youth development non-profit, Art Start, that uses the creative arts to facilitate personal development with homeless youth and those at risk of incarceration. Prior to joining Art Start, she spent years revolutionizing the indie film industry’s release platform by pioneering the “Social Outreach Campaign” for two major motion picture film releases, Favela Rising (2005) and The Hip Hop Project (2007), taking conscious, independent film on nationwide tours through under-served communities, homeless shelters and juvenile detention facilities as a part of their distributor’s traditional release campaign. From 2003-2005, Johanna served as Manager of Community Partnerships for the New York International Latino Film Festival and holds three years of corporate business planning expertise from the multinational Briggs & Stratton Corporation. In 2010 she received "Non-Profiteer of the Year" award from the New York Association of Non-Profit Professionals and in 2015 received the "Cultural Arts Volunteer of the Year" award from the United Community Center for her work establishing the foundation of Bembé at the Bruce-Guadalupe Community Schools and UCC Senior Center. A Milwaukee-native, she is also a South Side parent.

Imani Jalil     Program Director, Dance instructor    Imani Jalil was born and raised in Milwaukee. She began her dance training in ballet, jazz, and tap at the age of eleven at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts. After graduating from RMSA, Imani became a dance major at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, where she gained experience in modern dance techniques, including Graham and Horton. Upon graduation, from MHSA, she became a UW-Milwaukee dance major in the contemporary dance track through the end of her sophomore year. She switched over to the Africa and the Diaspora dance track before her junior year of college and graduated with her B.F.A in contemporary and African dance in August of 2015. In June 2015, Imani had the opportunity to embark on a dance study abroad program to Brazil, where she studied many forms of Afro-Brazilian dance and movement.  While at UWM, Imani had the opportunity to study and perform various styles of movement, including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Latin, African, and traditional Caribbean and South American dance forms. She performed several times with the African dance company, Ko-thi Dance Company, under the direction of founder Ferne Caulker-Bronson. Currently, she is a member of Panadanza Dance Company in Milwaukee, a group that studies and performs traditional dances from all over Latin America, specifically the countries of Brazil, Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. As a member of this group, Imani had the opportunity to perform at The Panama Salsa Congress in May of 2013.  She is proud to serve as Program Coordinator for Bembé, and to begin her fourth year leading the dance curriculum for Bembé dancers!  Contact: imani@proyectobembe.org

Imani Jalil

Program Director, Dance instructor

Imani Jalil was born and raised in Milwaukee. She began her dance training in ballet, jazz, and tap at the age of eleven at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts. After graduating from RMSA, Imani became a dance major at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, where she gained experience in modern dance techniques, including Graham and Horton. Upon graduation, from MHSA, she became a UW-Milwaukee dance major in the contemporary dance track through the end of her sophomore year. She switched over to the Africa and the Diaspora dance track before her junior year of college and graduated with her B.F.A in contemporary and African dance in August of 2015. In June 2015, Imani had the opportunity to embark on a dance study abroad program to Brazil, where she studied many forms of Afro-Brazilian dance and movement.

While at UWM, Imani had the opportunity to study and perform various styles of movement, including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Latin, African, and traditional Caribbean and South American dance forms. She performed several times with the African dance company, Ko-thi Dance Company, under the direction of founder Ferne Caulker-Bronson. Currently, she is a member of Panadanza Dance Company in Milwaukee, a group that studies and performs traditional dances from all over Latin America, specifically the countries of Brazil, Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. As a member of this group, Imani had the opportunity to perform at The Panama Salsa Congress in May of 2013.

She is proud to serve as Program Coordinator for Bembé, and to begin her fourth year leading the dance curriculum for Bembé dancers!

Contact: imani@proyectobembe.org

Bony Plog-Benavides     Percussion Instructor    Bony Plog-Benavides is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied with Cuban percussionist Fran Calzadilla. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a concentration on Percussion Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where she studied with David Bayles. In May 2008, she finished her Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology at Arizona State University. Her thesis research focused on the popularization of Gaita Music, a musical tradition of Northern Colombia. While at ASU, Mrs. Plog-Benavides studied with African music scholar Mark Sunkett and renowned drummer Dom Moio. In addition to her work at Bembé, Mrs. Plog-Benavides currently teaches for Milwaukee Public School as a Percussion Traveling Music Teacher as well as at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Concordia University as a Percussion Instructor.

Bony Plog-Benavides

Percussion Instructor

Bony Plog-Benavides is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied with Cuban percussionist Fran Calzadilla. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a concentration on Percussion Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where she studied with David Bayles. In May 2008, she finished her Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology at Arizona State University. Her thesis research focused on the popularization of Gaita Music, a musical tradition of Northern Colombia. While at ASU, Mrs. Plog-Benavides studied with African music scholar Mark Sunkett and renowned drummer Dom Moio. In addition to her work at Bembé, Mrs. Plog-Benavides currently teaches for Milwaukee Public School as a Percussion Traveling Music Teacher as well as at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Concordia University as a Percussion Instructor.

Carlos Adames    Percussion Instructor   Carlos Adames is a widely acclaimed percussionist known for his explosive soloing and inventive conga patterns, and a composer, arranger and educator who has worked professionally all over the Western Hemisphere and Europe.  Mr. Adames was born into a musical family that inspired him and helped shape him as a musician, and he began playing the drums at the age of six. His South American and Caribbean roots combined with his understanding of contemporary and classical music make him a complete and skilled master musician. Mr. Adames earned his Bachelors Degree in Percussion at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes of Mexico, as well as with world known percussionists such as Alex Acuña, Endel Dueño, Jesús Alfonso Miró, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Lamim Thiam, and many others. During his coursework to becoming a Master Percussionist he received conservatory training in Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and Veracruz, Mexico.  He has additional acredidation in Planning and Evaluation of Musical Education from the Instituto Veracruzano de las Artes Hugo Argüelles, Mexico  Mr. Adames has taught music education and percussion to students of all ages, from elementary to college and Master level at: Mozart's Gym Academy, Milwaukee, WI; Universidad Cristobal Colón, Veracruz, Mexico; El Instituto de México, San Antonio, TX; North West Vista College, San Antonio, TX; Palo Alto College, San Antonio, TX; Oldenburg Universität, Oldenburg, Germany; and Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico.  As a musician, Mr. Adames is committed to the development of conga playing, breaking down traditional percussion barriers to perform Latin rhythms, jazz, funk and hip-hop while retaining his distinctly Latin roots. His musical journey is a personal quest to explore and create new sounds and rhythmic fusions, and his playing is characterized by innovation, energy and pure heart.

Carlos Adames

Percussion Instructor

Carlos Adames is a widely acclaimed percussionist known for his explosive soloing and inventive conga patterns, and a composer, arranger and educator who has worked professionally all over the Western Hemisphere and Europe.

Mr. Adames was born into a musical family that inspired him and helped shape him as a musician, and he began playing the drums at the age of six. His South American and Caribbean roots combined with his understanding of contemporary and classical music make him a complete and skilled master musician. Mr. Adames earned his Bachelors Degree in Percussion at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes of Mexico, as well as with world known percussionists such as Alex Acuña, Endel Dueño, Jesús Alfonso Miró, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Lamim Thiam, and many others. During his coursework to becoming a Master Percussionist he received conservatory training in Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and Veracruz, Mexico.

He has additional acredidation in Planning and Evaluation of Musical Education from the Instituto Veracruzano de las Artes Hugo Argüelles, Mexico

Mr. Adames has taught music education and percussion to students of all ages, from elementary to college and Master level at: Mozart's Gym Academy, Milwaukee, WI; Universidad Cristobal Colón, Veracruz, Mexico; El Instituto de México, San Antonio, TX; North West Vista College, San Antonio, TX; Palo Alto College, San Antonio, TX; Oldenburg Universität, Oldenburg, Germany; and Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico.

As a musician, Mr. Adames is committed to the development of conga playing, breaking down traditional percussion barriers to perform Latin rhythms, jazz, funk and hip-hop while retaining his distinctly Latin roots. His musical journey is a personal quest to explore and create new sounds and rhythmic fusions, and his playing is characterized by innovation, energy and pure heart.

 

SPONSORS

Art+Humanities-BandW.jpg
Wis Humanities.jpg

Funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

clacs_transparent_logo.png

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Title VI National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

ml-btd-bg-c-400.jpg

Marquette University's Office of Community Engagement