A New Book Celebrates Brazil’s Bandolinista Luperce

Luperce Bezerra Pessoa de Miranda was born in Recife, on July 28, one hundred years ago. He played bandolim from the age of eight and composed his first frevo when he was fifteen.

The following year he organized the jazz band Leão do Norte, in which he played piano. In 1926 he founded the famous nordestino group Turunas da Mauricéia, whose roster included Augusto Calheiros, Manuel de Lima, João Frazão, and Luperce’s brothers João and Romualdo.


In 1927, the Turunas moved to Rio de Janeiro without Luperce. In the capital, they became all the rage and recorded several of Luperce’s compositions, including “Belezas do Sertão,” “O Pequeno Tururu,” and the embolada “Pinião,” which became the monster hit of the 1928 carnaval.


When Luperce finally came to Rio, it was with the pernambucano conjunto Voz do Sertão, whose other members were Jayme Florence (Meira), José Ferreira, Robson Florence, and the embolada singer Minona Carneiro. Luperce’s pseudonym in this group was Sapequinha.


In Rio, Luperce recorded with Bando de Tangarás and as a studio musician in numerous recordings, including those of the classics “Se Você Jurar” (Ismael Silva/Nilton Bastos) with Francisco Alves and Mario Reis and “Com Que Roupa” (Noel Rosa).


The introduction in Carmen Miranda and Luiz Barbosa’s recording of “No Tabuleiro da Baiana” (Ary Barroso) is his. He is also said to have taught Jacob do Bandolim the first rudiments of the instrument.


Eventually, Luperce founded his own conjunto, which bore his name and that of the guitarist Artur Nascimento (“Tute”). He composed more than 500 tunes and participated in more than 700 recordings. He died in Rio de Janeiro on 5 April 1977. 


To celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday, Marí­lia Trindade Barboza released a new biography of the bandolim master.


Luperce Bezerra

You can read more about Brazilian music and culture at Daniella Thompson on Brazil here: http://daniv.blogspot.com/

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