Luiz Gonzaga

Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


13 December 1912, Caicara, Pernambuco, Brazil, d. 2 August 1989, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. The lively dance music of north-east Brazil known as forró was all around Gonzaga during his childhood. He became adept at this fierce and sometimes raw musical form, which has at its core the instrumentation of accordion and percussion, the latter being played chiefly on the zambubma, which is a bass drum, and the triangle. While still in his teens, Gonzaga became adept on accordion and zambubma, taking instruction from his father, Januário Jose Dos Santos. He developed his musical skills during the 30s, a decade he spent mainly in the Brazilian army wherein he played in military bands. At the end of the decade Gonzaga settled in Rio De Janeiro, playing on street corners and in bars. He formed musical alliances with other musicians from his region of the country and they began performing forró in the city’s music venues. He recorded from the early...

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