Born Joao Teixeira Guimaraes in the country-side of the North eastern state of Pernambuco to an Indian mother and Portuguese father. Self-taught he began playing on the streets and at local fairs at an early age. He moved to Rio de Janeiro(the then capital)age 20 to commence his musical career. By 1908 he was one of the leading figures in the blossoming choro and samba scene developing in the bohemian suburbs of Rio. As an illiterate musician he relied on others to transcribe his works and as a result many of his compositions were claimed by others ,knowing this situation Villa-Lobos(1887-1959) ,in good faith, transcribed and registered several of Joao`s songs on his behalf and Joao Pernambuco is now receiving the attention he deserved when he was alive. A friend of Pixinguinha`s since 1912 ,Joao eventually played and toured with Pixinguinha`s “Oito Batutas”( the 8 cool dudes)from 1919 to 1921.His friend and colleague Villa -Lobos wrote “Bach would not be shamed in signing the studies of Joao Pernambuco as being his……”
Born into a musical family , Gnattali went on to become one of Brazil`s most celebrated composers ,conductors ,orchestrators and arrangers ever. His compositions bridged the gap between `popular` and `art` music. In 1954 he composed ”Suite da Danca Popular Brasileira” for electric guitar and piano, dedicated to Laurindo Almedia(1917 -1995 and debut by Garoto(1915-1955) in Sao Paulo. In the late 1970`s he formed the `regional ”Camerata Carioca” with Raphael Rabello and Mauricio Carrilho, which began a revival of interest in choro music which continues in Brazil into the 21st century. Gnattali wrote “10 Studies”(Dez Estudos) for Guitar, each one dedicated to a guitarist or musical colleague. Estudo #1 is dedicated to the late ,great Raphael Rabello(1962-1995)
Between 1941 and 1975 he recorded over 40 albums and in turn became one of Brazil`s most famous popular guitarists. He recorded over 100 of his own compositions, many of which are now standards of the Brazilian Guitar repertoire. Dilermando was fundamental in the rediscovery of Joao Pernambuco and recorded many of his works. Among Dilermando`s students were the President Juscelino Kubitsckek and the great guitarist Bola Sete(1923-1987)
Jacob do Bandolim(1918-1969)
Born Jacob Pick Bittencourt in Rio de Janeiro and growing up in the bohemian suburb Lapa, Jacob is considered Brazils finest mandolin (bandolim) player. A pharmacist by day he lead the regional “Epoca de Ouro” with whom he recorded dozens of singles and L.P`s. Jacob composed hundreds of choros , many of which are standards in the choro repertoire.Between 1956 and 1958 Radames Gnattali wrote “Retratos”-Suite for mandolin and orchestra in 4 movements.Jacob gave its debut performance and also recorded Retratos in 1964. Jacob was instrumental in preserving the work of Joao Pernambuco and his own history is preserved at the Museum of Sound and Image in Rio de Janeiro. Jacob died of a heart attack after spending the day with Pixinguinha(1897-1973),they were planning a recording project together.
Regarded by many as a genius, Joao Gilberto single-handedly changed the way people sang and played the guitar in Brazil. Given a guitar at age 14,Joao found himself in his state capital, Salvador by age 18 and moved to Rio de Janeiro soon after. In 1958 Odeon Records released his two singles ”Chega de Saudade/Bim-Bim” in July and “Desafinando/Oba la la “ in November, thus launching the Bossa Nova phenomenon. Known for his strange and exotic habits , Gilberto was a true bohemian of Rio. He later moved to the U.S.A where he recorded over 10 albums, but due to his obsession with technical perfection and stage fright he is rarely heard live.
Widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian guitarist of all-time Baden Powell began his classical guitar training at age 7 and had received his Diploma from the Conservatory of Rio aged 14. At 15 his life as a professional musician began. In 1959 he gained fame with his hit song “Samba Triste”, with lyrics by Billy Blanco .Baden met poet-diplomat Vinicius de Moraes in 1962 and began a collaboration that would shape the future of Brazilian music. Encouraged by Vinicius, Baden composed a series of songs combing the influence of Afro-Brazilian forms such as candomble,capoeira and Rio`s samba to transcend the prevailing sounds of bossa-nova. Released in 1966 “Os Afro Sambas de Baden e Vinicius” yielded classics such as “Canto de Ossanha”,”Canto de Xango” and “Iemanja” and has gone on to be recognized internationally as one of the seminal Brazilian recordings of the 1960`s.