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Osvaldinho da Cuíca

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Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Osvaldinho da Cuíca has worked with artists like Nelson Gonçalves, Ângela Maria, Adoniran Barbosa, Geraldo Filme, Germano Mathias, Ismael Silva, Nelson Cavaquinho, Cartola, Zé Keti, Nelson Sargento, Elton Medeiros, Clementina de Jesus, Beth Carvalho, D. Ivone Lara, Toquinho e Vinícius, Paulinho da Viola, Martinho da Vila, João Nogueira, Zeca Pagodinho, Lecy Brandão, Eduardo Gudim, Gal Costa, and Daniela Mercury. He is more widely known (outside of the city of São Paulo, where he has since been associated with samba manifestations) as a member of the group Demônios da Garoa (between 1967 and 1999), who received the eighth Sharp prize as Best Samba Group. His contribution to the keeping of the samba paulista tradition was acknowledged by the União das Escolas de Samba Paulistanas, which granted him with the title of Embaixador Nato do Samba Paulista.

At 15, he was already a percussionist in the batuques and cordões carnavalescos of the city of São Paulo, participating in the creation of several samba schools. In 1959, he joined the Teatro Popular de Solano Trindade. In the same year, he participated (in Monsueto Menezes's group) on the soundtrack to the film Orfeu Negro, winner of the Cannes Festival and of the Oscar as Best Foreign Film. In 1962, with Chevalier and Paula do Salgueiro, he performed in nightclubs and TV shows. DaCuica was elected the first Cidadão Samba de São Paulo in 1974, in a contest promoted by the tourism department of that city. Also in 1974, he recorded his first solo album as interpreter (Marcus Pereira). In 1975, he founded the Ala de Compositores of the samba school Vai-Vai and also participated in the foundation of Gaviões da Fiel (1974) and Acadêmicos do Tucuruvi (1976). He was the producer of the first samba-enredo LPs of the cities of São Paulo, Santos, Guaratinguetá, and São Luís do Maranhão. In 1978, he acted in the short subject produced by Thomas Farkas about the history of the cuíca. The film was presented internationally, yielding invitations for performances abroad. In 1985, he performed in Japan with Nelson Ayres (1985) and with the Companhia de Franco Fontana, he performed in Italy, France, and Monaco (1987). Two years later, he performed in the U.S. accompanying Amilson Godoy and Hermeto Paschoal. In 1999, he performed solo at the Amsterdã Samba Meeting (Holland). In 1984, he directed and presented the musical O Canto dos Escravos with the participation of Clementina de Jesus and Geraldo Filme (his partner for several decades). In 1989, he played in two symphonic events: "Matogrosso," staged by Gerald Thomas at the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo, and a concert with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, at the Memorial da América Latina. In 1997, he participated in the documentary about Geraldo Filme which was the winner of the Third Festival Internacional de Documentários de São Paulo -- É Tudo Verdade, also being awarded in the cinema festivals of Gramado RS, Brasília DF, and Cuiabá MT. A História do Samba Paulista I, produced in 1999, DaCuica wrote and directed the homonymous show.

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