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Abreu, Zequinha de (19th September 1880-22nd January 1935)

Composer and pianist born in Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, Brazil who, by aged 5, had already got a love of music and was given a harmonica on which he learned to play melodies.  He began musical studies when he was 7 and organised a band with his classmates at school.

He played the ocarina from aged 10 and after further studies at the Colegeo Sao Luis he entered the Episcopal Seminary to honour his mother’s wishes and become a priest.  He continued musical studies there, but after he made the decision to work in music he ran away and went back home.

He formed two small orchestras which were both successful and during this time he also worked as a politician.  He continued to compose and by 1915 he had already written over 100 compositions.  The publishers Casa Beethoven employed him and he used to go from house to house to demonstrate and sell his music straight to families.

His songs and other compositions include “Aurora”, “Pe de Elefante”, “Branca” and the famous “Tico-Tico No Fuba”.  The movie of his life Tico-Tico No Fuba was released in 1952, 17 years after his death.

Ray Conniff Recordings
Tico Tico – Ray Conniff and Orchestra

Here is his “Branca”…