Machah began his journey in music with piano, at an early age, then taking up percussion once he joined classical music organization D.C. Youth Orchestra (DCYOP).
After leaving high school and DCYOP Machah went on obtain his certification in Electronics Engineering Technology then later obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. Machah joined Vavá United School of Samba in January 2016.
Upon joining, he took up the Tamborim with no prior experience in Brazilian instruments. As he quickly became proficient in learning how to play the instrument he attracted the attention of Arata Onoguchi (Founder) who offered him the role as Vavá’s Equipment Manager.
Machah served in that role until October 2017 when the Founder of the school, turned to Machah and asked him to serve as Acting President while he temporarily takes time off and return to his home country of Japan.
Upon returning to the U.S. Arata decided that he would permanently step down as President of Vavá. Arata ask Machah to assume his role and become the formal President of Vavá United School of Samba.
Currently, Machah serves as the President of Vavá and continues to play the tamborim as a member of the Vavá Bateria for the organization.
Native born of Colombia, Luy mastered the traditional styles of Salsa and Samba, at an early age, then quickly developed her own style of dance. Luy was a member of the successful Bogota Samba troupe and received several performance awards. She choreographed many of the most famous award winning Samba performances in Bogota.
In her twenties, Luy moved to the U.S. then obtained her Master’s Degree in Information Technology specializing in Project Management.
Luy has supported Vavá United School of Samba in a number of its major events such as the judge’s role for the Samba Queen Contest, parades and other major performances.
Luy brings a wealth of professional knowledge and experience to Vavá.
Luisa (Luy) Cortes
– Dance Director
– Bateria (Drum) Director
Native born of São Paulo, Brazil, Roberto’s influences in music came early in life through is father’s travels exposing him to various genres of music from places all over the globe.
Roberto joined his neighborhood samba school Vai Vai first learning to play the surdo drum (#1). As he grew, he began to excel at learning the other instruments such as the Repinique, Surdos #2 & 3, Caixa, Pandeiro, Drum Set and etc. While with Vai Vai, Roberto played a contributing role to his school receiving its highest grade, Bateria Nota (number 10), and title for Best Samba School in São Paulo.
Roberto came to the U.S. in 1983 where he continued as a musician performing with various music groups in the D.C, Marylard and Virginia (DMV) region. Roberto leads the Bateria (Drum) as Director for Vavá bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience.