He attained fame in the late ‘70s as drummer of Caetano Veloso’s controversial A Outra Banda Da Terra, and wrote the 1981 hit ‘Lua e Estrela’ (Moon and Star) that transformed Veloso into a genuine Brazilian pop icon.
Since moving to New York almost 20 years ago, Cantuára’s music has embodied a singular synthesis of New York city and Rio de Janeiro.
His albums have enjoyed widespread critical acclaim, and he has become a leading figure in the city’s jazz and contemporary music scenes.
Vinicius Cantuára is also a much sought after collaborator who has played with many of the starrier names in left-field music – David Byrne, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Arto Lindsay included, while in jazz he has worked with pianist Brad Mehldau, and has collaborated regularly with Bill Frisell.
Many jazz fans discovered Cantuária through his collaborations with guitarist Frisell, when the duo enjoyed a world-jazz hit with the release of ‘The Intercontinentals’ more than a decade ago.
Cantuária is a bossa nova poet who accompanies his light, Joao Gilberto-like vocals with caressing guitar work and gorgeous melodies. He has had a prolific recording career, with 16 albums to his name since the early 80s.
Cantuária’s music is unmistakably Brazilian, but his sound seamlessly embraces a myriad of influences” – The Boston Globe
“Almost everything he sings or plays on the guitar has a sense of the unexpected” – The Times (London).