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Eugenio

The Music of Garoto

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Aníbal Augusto Sardinha, known as Garoto (Portuguese for "Boy"), was born in São Paulo in 1915 and died in Rio de Janeiro in 1955, from a massive heart attack. Despite a short life span of only 40 years, he left a mark that would change the Brazilian music forever.

Garoto-Violao.jpg

He was a multi-instrumentalist who played banjo, mandolin, cavaquinho, electric and classical guitar, Hawaiian, Portuguese and tenor guitars with equal proficiency and wrote songs and arrangements for all of them. There's even a joke that says that Garoto would be able to play musical instruments stringed with barbed wire.

Garoto started learning music at a very early age and quickly became requested in cafes, radio shows and other venues. In the 1940's, he spent a couple of months accompanying Carmen Miranda in her tour in the US and got in touch with a lot of American musicians.

Garoto's music is a melting pot of a lot of difference influences. His roots are in the traditional styles of Samba and Choro, where the genius of Pixinguinha is probably his major influence. At the same time, he was always trying different things and in touch with many other musical styles. He was probably the first to introduce the jazz "blue notes" in traditional genres like Choro and Samba. He also showed a strong influence of the French impressionism and Debussy's harmonic ideas.

Most of his guitar solo pieces would be lost if it weren't the initiative of Mr. Ronoel Simões, who was friends with Garoto and took him to a studio in São Paulo and had Garoto play most of his pieces. Those recordings proved to be historical and were the basis upon Geraldo Ribeiro and later Paulo Bellinati worked in order to record their CDs and write their transcriptions and arrangements.

The influence of Garoto was essential to shape the musical ideas of many other Brazilian guitarists like Laurindo Almeida, Paulinho Nogueira, Luiz Bonfá and Baden Powell, just to name a few.

Inspiração - This is a prelude that Garoto dedicated to one of his former teachers, Attilio Bernardini. This recording is being played by Garoto himself. It's a piece with a very classical flavor.

Jorge do Fusa - A choro with a very unusual harmony and chord progressions for its time. At the same time, it manages to sound traditional. Here's an arrangement for the 7-string guitar by Marcello Gonçalves, where he goes even further in the use of Fusas (32nd notes).

Lamentos do Morro - A samba that's now about 60 years old and sounds fresh, like it was written yesterday by a contemporary Brazilian guitarist. The use of the cross fingering was very unusual at that time. This is a live and rare recording by Raphael Rabello.

Naqueles Velhos Tempos - Garoto also wrote marvelous waltzes and this one is especially inspired. It's a one-tempo piece and it has a very nostalgic flavor.

Links:

http://tinpan.fortunecity.com/sensible/732

http://www.sovacodecobra.com.br/2007/08/o-...neiro-de-garoto

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thanks for this, eugenio. informative, and wonderful music selections.

it's amazing how much the playing of garoto sounds like that of barrios: the use of glissandi, tone, attack, and time-feel. not impossible that he met the gran maestro in his youth, perhaps?

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Randall, I don't believe they've ever met, since Garoto was born in 1915 and Barrios left Brazil in 1922. Barrios was friends with João Pernambuco and a couple of other Brazilian guitarists, though, and they all exchanged a lot of ideas and influenced each other. Barrios' beautiful "Choro da Saudade" is dedicated to Pernambuco.

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barrios lived in brazil during two different periods: the first from 1916-1922, and the second from about 1927 till his departure for more northern countries in 1932. during this last 5 year period he toured all 21 states, and wrote many of his most important piees.

bellinati states that garoto began classical guitar lessons in 1933 with attilio bernardini, after he had already been a professional performer for six years. one can only speculate about the inspiration for this...

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As far as I know, the period between 1927-1932 was a different one, since Barrios was no longer fixed in São Paulo, but he was rather touring the northern Brazilian states and making his way to Venezuela. For instance, he became Nitsuga Mangoré and started wearing his Indian feathered outfit in Salvador, state of Bahia, which is about 1,230 miles (1,980km) north of São Paulo. In geographical terms, that would be something like Garoto living in NY and Barrios already in Ohio making his way to California, or Garoto living is Lisbon with Barrios in Paris making his way to Moscow.

Anyway, Barrios' had a remarkable influence in Brazil, no doubt about it, and Attilio Bernardini sure knew about his music.

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