Monday, August 27, 2012

Altamiro Carrilho (1925-2012) & Severino Araújo (1917-2012)

This month the choro society has lost two legendary figures representing the best in choro tradition.

On the 15th of August the well-known and worldfamous flutist Altamiro Carrilho passed away 87 years old as a result of complications from cancer. Altamiro Carrilho demonstrated a talent for flute early in life, and he began his career after winning an amateur talent competition when he was a youth. He worked in a pharmacy during the day and studied his instrument in the evenings. He replaced Benedito Lacerda as a flutist when Lacerda left his conjunto regional around 1950 and the ensemble continued under the leadership of Canhoto. After his stay with Canthoto, Carrilho formed his own ensemble - Altamiro Carrilho e seu Bandinha, which had great success with the public following a recording of Carrilho's composition 'Rio Antigo' - one of the best-selling 78 rpm discs in Brazil ever - and through his own television show on TV Tupi.Altamiro Carrilho's talent extended to classical music as well as popular including choro and mpb, and from the 1960s he was often invited to give various concerts throughout the world. Carrilho has made an extensive number of recordings and has written approximately 200 pieces for flute. A detailed career profile in English is available here. - To commemorate Altamiro Carrilho, here is a live-performance from 2010 recorded at Instrumental SESC Brasil featuring Carrilho and ensemble playing Joaquim Calado's 'Flor Amorosa'


On the 3rd of August clarinetist and bandleader Severino Araújo died, 95 years old. Severino Araújo was for more than 60 years the conductor, arranger, clarinetist, and leader of the Orquestra Tabajara. At four, Araujo was already taking musical lessons with his father, who was a bandleader and instrumentalist, too. Two years later, at six, he became his father's assistant in teaching his pupils. In 1928, Araújo began to take the instruments, beginning with horn and saxophone, soon taking the clarinet. At 12, he performed in public for the first time, playing clarinet with his father's band. In the 1930s Araújo worked in commerce and as a bureaucrat while playing in local bands of Pernambuco until hired by Rádio Tabajara as clarinetist and saxophonist in 1937. At that point, the Orquestra Tabajara had been created four years before, and when the leader of the band died in December 1938, Araújo was asked to be the new conductor, which he accepted. Later Araújo moved to Rio to play at various radio stations, and in 1945 he reunited with the Orchestra Tabajara in Rio. From then on Araújo and the Orquestra Tabajara performed with success in radio, TV and live-performance, many recordings were made and increased the success of the orchestra both in Brazil and abroad. The repertoire of the band included several pieces written and arranged by Araújo, among them his well-known choro 'Espinha de Bacalhau'. Araújo toured with the Orquestra Tabajara in many countries and had success everywhere. He semi-retired in 1968, but continued to conduct the band, which is now led by his son, until his eighties. - The above info is excerpted from a career profile in English by Alvaro Neder, available here

To commemorate Severino Araújo, here is the original audio of 'Espinha de Bacalhau' from YouTube



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