Born in Manaus, Amazonas, Vinicius Cantuaria grew up in Rio de Janeiro, and played with one of the first progressive Brazilian bands, O Terço. He released six albums in Brazil in the 80s. He moved to New York in the mid-90s and with his album Sol Na Cara, pioneered neo-Brazilian music in 1996.  

He then became one of the most important downtown New York figures, collaborating with artists as eclectic as Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Brad Mehldau and Arto Lindsay.

As a composer, Cantuaria has had many successes, with “Lua e Estrela” (recorded by Caetano Veloso in 1981), “Coisa Linda,” “So Você,” and “Na Cançao”. As a sideman, he has performed with Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, to only name a few.

In New York, he released five internationally recognised studio albums and signed an artist contract with Naïve in 2008 which put out his album Cymbals, recorded with top New York musicians, Brad Mehldau, Michael Leonhardt, Dave Binney, and Erik Friedlander. 

Keeping his New York musicians for Samba Carioca (2010), Vinicius Cantuaria successfully returned to his Brazilian roots – in addition to his usual New York team (Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell), he was also surrounded by an impressive line-up of Brazilian musicians from all trends and different backgrounds: Arto Lindsay, who produced the album, veterans like Joao Donato or Marcos Valle, and younger musicians, like Dadi or Sidinho.

“Vinicius Cantuaria is the doyen of Brazilian singer-songwriters – more melodic than Caetano Veloso, more consistent than Gilberto Gil and with more talent than Max de Castro, Otto and Patricia Marx put together. If more people covered his songs, we’d be talking about him as the new Tom Jobim.” — John L Walters, The Guardian

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