Lula was born in Bahia, and his first time in California was in 1987, when he came for three months to perform with Grupo Bahia Tropical at the Meridian Hotel, in Newport Beach. In the following year, he came back to SoCal to study English and work on his music with the help of his friends, Floriano and Lazaro, directors of the Embrasamba, the first samba school in L.A. County. When living in Brazil, Lula was into capoeira, and worked at the landmark “Mercado Modelo” in Salvador, selling semi-precious stones.
Lula “Meu Rei” (My King), how his friends like to call him, worked for many years with Badaro (another musician who came to Los Angeles), co-founder of Viver Brasil Dance Company in the 90’s in partnership with his American wife Linda Yudin, in the famous show house “Tenda dos Milagres”. He was an official composer of the internationally known Grupo Olodum and the former singer of band Pinel – a traditional “trio-eletrico” band in the carnaval circuit of Salvador.
He introduced SoCal to the Axe Music of Bahia in 1989 and to Lambada in 1990 with his band Lula & Afro-Brazil. A few of his most memorable performances was the one with Rick Martin in the 2002 Grammy Awards and with Alexandre Pires (Brazilian/Latin star) in the Latin Grammy of 2006. He works for a while for the Annual “Open House” at the Hollywood Bowl through the L.A Philharmonic Association. The charismatic Lula “Meu Rei” Almeida is married to the American teacher and former professional dancer Abby.