6 August 1937, Varre-E-Sai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, d. 26 September 2000, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A legend of Brazilian guitar, Powell emerged on the cusp of the bossa nova boom, bringing new dimensions to the music by drawing on jazz and classical music, as well as the Afro-Brazilian folklore of the north-east. Named after the founder of the Boy Scouts (Powells family was involved in the movement in Brazil), he grew up in Rio and from childhood was surrounded by music. His father was a violinist and his grandfather had been the director of one of the first black orchestras in post-slavery Brazil. At his fathers insistence, Powell began guitar lessons at the age of eight, and his talent quickly became obvious. After only a year, he won first place as guitar soloist on a national radio programme.
By his early teens he had dropped out of school and began performing on radio and touring small towns around the country. In 1955, he...
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