By Caio Bertazzoli, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
Brazil mourns the loss of one of its most important and influential artists of the century. The accordionist, singer and composer Dominguinhos died this Tuesday the 23rd, after a seven year battle against lung cancer. He was 72.
Known not only for his musical genius, Dominguinhos was also loved for his humbled character and his enormous generosity. The singer began his career at a very early age, being musically adopted by Luiz Gonzaga (considered the father of the Brazilian accordion) at the age of 13. Gonzagão (Luiz Gonzaga) immediately recognised the incredible musical genius and proclaimed Dominguinhos the heir to his musical legacy.
Dominguinhos was born in the small and poor city of Guaranhuns (in the north-east state of Pernanbuco), in 1941. He started to play the accordion when he was only 6 years old, when he would play in the small fairs of his town, in order to help raise money for the family. After being helped by Gonzagão and moving to Rio de Janeiro, he quickly became known and respected by Brazil’s most influential artists such as Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethânia, Elba Ramalho, Toquinho and many more.
About his final hours, his wife stated: “… I ‘ve accompanied him to the last beat of his heart, singing beside him. He went in peace.”