Tiganá Santana

The Bahia-born singer-songwriter shared his personal take on Afro-Brazilian music and culture.

Born in 1982 in Salvador, composer, performer, producer, curator, and educator Tiganá Santana began his musical studies on guitar and composition at the age of 14. Santana was the first Brazilian singer-songwriter to release an album featuring songs in African languages. Maçalê (“You are one with your essence”, in archaic Yoruba) was released in 2010, followed by several releases on the Swedish label Abajú! 

Over the last 13 years, Tiganá Santana has peformed frequently throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia including at the Musée du Quay Branly, Maison de la Radio in Paris, SESC Pompéia in São Paulo, and Shibuya WWW in Tokyo. Santana has produced projects by singer Virgínia Rodrigues, including Mama Kalunga, released in 2015 and which won the award for best singer at the Brazilian Music Award in 2016, and an album, Cada voz é uma mulher, based on compositions by women from countries that had contact with the Portuguese language. 

Santana has disseminated his research on Afro-Brazilian language and cultures through presentations and interviews on radio and television and curated an exhibition on Brazilian singer and songwriter Ivone Lara on the occasion of her 94th birthday at Instituto Itaú Cultural, in 2015.


The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor MetLife Foundation. 

The Spring 2023 Music program is also supported, in part, by the Howard Gilman Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. 

Additional support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ ArtsForward program, made possible through support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New Music USA’s Organizational Development Fund in 2022-23, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The Amphion Foundation, Inc.

MetLife Foundation  NYC Cultural Affairs    New York Council on the Arts