Vinicius Cantuaria Biography

29 April 1951, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. During the 90s and early 00s, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Cantuária gained increasing attention for his clever update of the bossa nova/MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) sound. Merging tradition and technology, he evokes a sense of roots while testing the boundaries of musical styles. He is a well-known figure in Brazil, with a career that stretches across more than three decades and many musical styles.

Cantuária grew up in Rio de Janeiro and his music career started in his late teens, when he joined the band O Terço, which played Byrds -style folk rock before venturing into the realm of fusion. Cantuária eventually joined Caetano Veloso’s band as a drummer, and he wrote one of Veloso’s biggest hits, ‘Lua E Estrela’ (Moon And Star), which made Cantuária a household name in Brazil. During the 80s Cantuária recorded a half-dozen albums as a solo artist and his songs were recorded by many performers in Brazil, including Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa.

Moving to New York City, USA in the early 90s, Cantuária quickly gained notice as an original songwriter and performer, with a style that recalled the classic bossa nova sound while giving it a more modern twist. Teaming up with composer Ryûichi Sakamoto and producer Arto Lindsay, he recorded his US debut, Sol Na Cara, which reached many Top 10 lists for 1997. The record’s success led to tours in Europe and Japan as well as the USA. His 1999 recording, Tucumã, featured a cast of A-list musicians including Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell and Joey Baron as well as Sean Lennon playing bass. It was another creative triumph that stretched musical boundaries and caught the ears of a growing audience.

Cantuária has maintained his momentum into the new millennium with acclaimed recordings for the Transparent, Bar/None, Hannibal and Naive labels, with the gloriously eclectic Horse And Fish, released in 2004, of particular note.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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