Accordionist-composer Dominguinhos, one of the musical greats from Brazil's Northeast, passed away on July 23rd. His accordion playing on his many solo albums and works by Luiz Gonzaga, Gilberto Gil, Elba Ramalho and many others is an indelible part of Brazil's musical history. Born on February 12, 1941 in Garanhuns, in the interior of Pernambuco, Dominguinhos started learning to play the accordion at age six, met and impressed the legendary Luiz Gonzaga at nine, and moved to Rio at 13 to pursue a musical career, where he re-connected with Gonzaga and became part of his band. He was a master of the regional forró, xote and baião styles, and also delved into bossa nova, jazz and pop.
He went on to tour and record with Gonzaga, and worked with many important figures of MPB (also including Martia Bethânia. Toquinho, Nana Caymmi, Sivuca and Yamandú Costa), being called upon "when the perfect accordion touch was required," as noted in The Brazilian Sound. He recorded more than forty solo albums and as a songwriter teamed with Anastácia, Nando Cordel, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Chico Buarque and others. He contributed numerous Northeastern-flavored classics such as "Só Quero Um Xodo" and "Lamento Sertanejo." He was considered a fine person and will be sorely missed. He was much beloved in Brazil's musical community: here are some testimonials to Dominguinhos (in Portuguese).
Here are two of his most well-known compositions:
Dominguinhos, "So Quero Um Xodó"
Dominguinhos and Gilberto Gil, "Lamento Sertanejo"
More info (in Portuguese): Dominguinhos official site.