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LUIZ CLAUDIO

Luiz Claudio de Castro was born in Curvelo, located in the sertão region of Minas Gerais, on March 22, 1935. His father José de Castro was a pharmacist and his mother Amélia da Silva Castro was a teacher. From early on, he enjoyed drawing and playing cavaquinho. Back then, he was a big fan of the musicians Bob Nelson and Luiz Gonzaga and of comic books like Gibi, Tico-Tico, Era uma vez, etc.

He belonged to two groups during his adolescent years: the first was a musical trio that played at parties, dances, and serenades for girlfriends; the second was a group of artists that portrayed the landscapes of their native region. When it came time to begin working for a living, however, music afforded greater opportunities, and this was the route he took. He began singing on the show "Rádio Clube Curvelo", earning money thanks to the sponsorship of some local merchants. In 1951, he was invited to join Rádio Inconfidência in the capital city of Belo Horizonte, where he worked from the age of 15 to 19. Later invited to work at Rádio Mayrink Veiga, he moved to Rio, starting on the air in 1955. That same year he signed a contract with Columbia Discos to record his first hit "Blim, Blem, Blam" a Christmas song performed with Nazareno de Brito. He received a Gold Record from O Globo as Most Promising Male Artist. In 1956, he recorded such hits as "Joga a rede no mar," "Como é bom dançar", "Foi num trem", and "Não morro sem ver Paris".

During the early years of bossa nova, he recorded "Este seu olhar" with Tom Jobim and João Gilberto – a song that was only much later to enjoy success, making the charts throughout Brazil. He was then working for Radio Nacional do Rio, where he began in 1959 and stayed until 1963. Although he enjoyed radio, he decided to apply to study architecture at the Faculdade Nacional de Arquitetura, bringing him back to art again. Still, he did not leave music wholly aside, studying with the maestro Moacir Santos and recording some singles and one LP (Entre nós) on the Musidisc label. In 1965, he graduated in architecture and got married. He joined ODEON in 1966 and recorded the LP Intimidade. In 1970, he studied painting at Rio’s Museu de Arte Moderna, with Aluísio Carvão as his adviser. He was a well-known face at Inimá de Paula’s and Silva Costa’s studios and began taking part in collective shows. In March 1973, he went to Europe to participate in ORTOFF orchestra programs and released Cantigas on ODEON. In 1975, the LP Reportagem came out on the same label, with music by João de Barro, Tito Madi, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, and others.

He continued with his parallel career in the plastic arts, holding his first one-man painting show in December 1977 at the Galeria Milliet (FUNARTE – Rio). In 1979, at the same place, he presented a show upon the occasion of release of his LP Viola de Bobo (ODEON), where poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade are set to music.

In 1980, at the invitation of Brazil’s Department of Foreign Affairs, he traveled to the United States and visited many universities, where he introduced American students to Brazilian music.

One of his last LPs was released in 1983 at the auditorium of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) in Rio. Entitled Minas Sempre-Viva, this double-album set containing folk songs from Minas Gerais was called "the first sung book in Brazil" by the work’s producer, Léo Cristiano. Luiz Claudio then participated on a number of records. Between 1992 and 1993, in addition to sharing the stage at the Botanic nightclub with his friend Tito Madi, he traveled to Curitiba for a show at the invitation of Doris Monteiro. He is currently working with Ziraldo on a book of children’s magic.