10 (acoustic) guitar heroes from Brazil

It is very difficult to list the best acoustic guitar player in a country of major guitar players. But, if you browse the guitar fora that discuss this topic on the web, you will find a few recurrent names:

1 – Raphael Rabello – this guitar demi-god died young, at 33, in 1985, but it is impossible not to include him in this list. Here he plays “Luiza”, by Tom Jobim, the song that inspired my daughter’s name.

2 – Turíbio Santos – hors-concours, with stronger focus in classic guitar . Here he plays another Villa-Lobos, Choro number 1.

3 – Yamandú Costa – this virtuoso is considered by many the best Brazilian guitar player in activity. In this video he shares the stage with another guitar hero, Toquinho, playing the “Bachianinha 1”, by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

4 – Baden Powell – recently deceased, plays “Manhã de Carnaval” in 1970. When a foreigner thinks of a Brazilian guitar player, it is probably the image of Baden Powell that comes to his/her mind.

5 – Almir Sater – One of the kings of viola caipira, he brought the musicality of the region of Pantanal Matogrossense, the wetlands in Central Brazil, to the mass media. Here he plays “Quedelepe”, by himself.

6 – Paulinho Nogueira – Here he plays “Samba em Prelúdio“, by aforementioned Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes.

7 – Dino 7 Cordas

8 – Robson Miguel playing “Abismo de Rosas“, by Canhoto.

9 – Fábio Zanon plays the Grand Polonaise, op. 24, by Bobrowicz

10 – We cannot forget the brilliant duo Assad Brothers (previously seen in the post Musical families). Here they play “Baião Malandro“, by another great guitar player, Egberto Gismonti.

So, my friends, what do you think? Did I include your own favorite?


  1. Romero Lubambo.
    Badi Assad.
    Roberto Menescal.
    Helena Meirelles.
    Celso Fonseca.

    Not a guitarist, but mandolinist Hamilton de Hollanda deserves a mention too.

  2. Surprised that you just mention Egberto Gismonti in passing and not straight up. Listen to him on his Super 8….

    • The truth, Macaco, is that this is a damned tough post. I was sure I would be unfair. Rankings, by the way, are always unfair. But I thought it was still better to write about some of these geniuses than not. As I mentioned in a previous comment, this post certainly will have a suite.

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