Beto was born in New York City to Brazilian parents from São Paulo. After a few years, the family moved back to São Paulo where Beto was raised until he was 10 years old. The family then relocated to Los Angeles, where the musician has lived since 1980. As an adult he traveled many times to Brazil and spending significant time in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro.
In 2007-2008 he lived for one year in Rio de Janeiro conducting ethnographic research on urban samba. He has two Master’s degrees from UCLA and a PhD in Ethnomusicology. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Samba Society, and singer/percussionist for MôForró. Aside from being a musician, Beto is also a producer, works in the non-profit sector as an arts administrator and consultant, and is an avid photographer.
Beto is married to Shelby Williams-González and they have a daughter called Xochitl, both born in Los Angeles. Although he really loves the music and culture of Northeast of Brazil, Beto’s favorite city is Rio because of the city’s legacy of urban samba. * Photo by John Bajana.