These are the people who help SambaLá move forward into the future!

  • David de Hilster – President
  • Doris de Hilster – Carnavalesca, Show Director
  • Valeria Trindade – Carnaval Director
  • Claudio DaSilva – Mestre da Bateria
  • Vice President – Paulo Garcia

Detailed Bios of Some of the Directorate

More bios coming soon.

David de Hilster
Executive Director
/ President

David de Hilster is founder and former president of SambaLa samba school, serving as president for 28 years. During his presidency, David also served as music director and Mestre da Bateria (drum corp director) for the group. He also produced the project “Unidos do Mundo” with Alessandra Pirotelli where sambistas from 19 countries paraded in the Sambadrome in the year 2000 where David being the first non-Portuguese-speaking singer to sing in Rio’s famed Sambadrome. David, along with wife Doris, produced the Brazilian Street Carnaval in Long Beach from 1996-2010 as well as the Brazilian Day in Los Angeles in 2011 and 2012. David has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in Linguistics from the Ohio State University and is currently a supercomputer research scientist who works with computers and human languages and is author of the computer programing language NLP++. He is also an accomplished artist, filmmaker, and scientist authoring a book on a model for the Universe with his father Robert de Hilster. David also has his own YouTube channel “Dissident Science“. David is married to Doris de Hilster and they have a daughter Luanda and live in Boca Raton Florida. His personal homepage:

Doris de Hilster

Doris de Hilster is a Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro and is an accomplished clothes and costume designer who lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years. Doris served as carnavalesca (carnival costume artist) and show director for SambaLa for 28 years and is one of its original founders. Her costumes have been featured on Dancing with the stars two times, in the 2010 Rose parade with 65 dancers on the Jack-in-the-Box float, and internationally in South Korea for Kia Motors as well as in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in the year 2000. Doris was owner of Samba Collection for over two decades being honored for her artistic abilities by UCLA in Los Angeles and Macys of New York and L.A. Currently, Doris is owner of Beyond Dry Cleaners where she uses her skills in clothes to serve the local community in and around Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach. Doris is married to David de Hilster and has a daughter Luanda and live in Boca Raton Florida.

Claudio DaSilva
Mestre da Bateria

Claudio DaSilva is a Brazilian musician and “Carioca” from Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro and has been involved with samba and samba schools both in Brazil and the United States. Founder of several samba schools in New York in the 1980s, Claudio has directed both samba schools and their drum corps for many years and has worked all the while as a professional musician playing with many Brazilian groups around the United States. He joined SambaLa Samba School in 2017 becoming the “Mestre da Bateria” or drum corp leader while directing professional shows for private parties and large outdoor events in Pompano Beach as well at Mizner Amphitheater in Boca Raton. In 2022, Claudio became the president of SambaLa Samba school taking over from founder and former president David de Hilster.

Valeria Andrade
Carnaval Director

Valeria Andrade is a Brazilian / American who has been involved with SambaLa since 1998 in Long Beach California. Starting out as a dancer and making her way through the ranks as princess, then queen, and matron of the Drum Corps (Madrinha da Bateria). Valeria has been teaching samba for over a decade in the Los Angeles area having appeared on Dancing with the Stars and on the Tonight Show with Will Smith. Valeria is the Carnaval Director of SambaLa and has been the right-hand person for Show Director Doris de Hilster for many years. The Carnaval Director is the “producer” of the samba school much like the producer of a film and is the force that keeps the school running.


Paulo Garcia

Paulo Garcia is a Brazilian from Goias who is a local leader in the Brazilian community in Florida and also a personal growth expert and counselor. Paulo lived in Los Angeles for many years where he came to know SambaLa and Doris and David and currently advises David and Doris de Hilster as to the local Brazilian community in Southern Florida. He is also the spiritual leader of a local community group both in Florida and in Southern California who are known for their local and international charitable works. SambaLá’s quick success in Southern Florida was due in great part to Paulo encouraging his community group to become involved with SambaLá. Paulo is also a member of the SambaLá Drum Corps. Paulo works for Five Rings Financing and is married to Vanessa, has two children, and currently resides in Boca Raton Florida.


Alex de Oliveira
Brazilian Carnaval Director / Carnavalesco

Alex de Oliveira is Brazilian currently living in Rio de Janeiro and a multi-talented artist and architect who is most known for his reign as the King of Rio de Janeiro (“Rei Momo”) for 10 years. He also is carnaval artist (carnavalesco) having worked for the likes of top samba schools in Rio including Portela and Rocinha. Alex also teaches architecture and design at the university level in Rio. Alex paraded for the first time with SambaLá in Long Beach California in 2008 and in Boca Raton Florida in 2016. In 2016, he accepted the position of Carnaval Director and First Carnavalesco to SambaLá Samba School. We welcome Alex to our SambaLá family! His facebook page:

Hugo Luiz Venancio

Hugo Venancio is a Brazilian from Sao Paulo Brazil and is a gifted percussionist having played in samba schools and groups in Brazil and in the United States. He has been playing with SambaLa over the last several years and is has been chosen by president Claudio DaSilva to take his place as the percussion director for SambaLa Samba School.