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Rickey Smiley
 
Laurindo Almeida
Laurindo Almeida
During a long and uncommonly productive career, Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida achieved a ubiquity in popular music that has yet to be fully recognized. Largely responsible for the Brazilian/North American "samba jazz" that would eventually catch on in the form of a musical trend known as bossa nova, he played behind dozens of well-known pop vocalists and improved the overall texture of many a studio production ensemble. One credible estimate states that Almeida contributed to no less than 800 film soundtracks (among them The Old Man and the Sea, How the West Was Won, and Breakfast at Tiffany's), as well as countless TV scores. He also authored a series of guitar instruction books that are still in use worldwide. A master improviser and a skilled arranger as well as a brilliant interpreter of classical repertoire, he left for posterity superb recordings of works by J.S. Bach, Fryderyk Chopin, Claude Debussy, and Joaquín Rodrigo as well as a host of Brazilian composers including Heitor Villa-Lobos, Radamés Gnattali, and Alfredo Vianna. Almeida's own chamber compositions include a concerto for guitar and orchestra.
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