Pena Branca e Xavantinho were one of the most artistic and original duos of the contemporary "caipira" (hillbilly) universe. They were also innovative by including in their repertory pieces by urban composers like Djavan, Caetano Veloso, and Milton Nascimento. The quality of their interpretations was acknowledged by artists like Milton Nascimento, Fagner, Almir Sater, Tião Carreiro, and Renato Teixeira. They received four Prêmio Sharp awards and an APCA. In 1993, their success took them to international performances in the U.S.
The two brothers started to sing together in 1961 on Rádio Educadora (Uberlândia, Minas Gerais). Six years later, Xavantinho moved to São Paulo, found a place to stay and, by letter, requested his brother's presence one year later. In 1980, they were heard by Renato Teixeira, who arranged for them to record their first LP, Velha Morada, that same year. Still in 1980, they qualified Xavantinho's "Que Terreiro É Esse?" on TV Globo's MPB Shell Festival. Their original interpretation of Milton Nascimento/Chico Buarque's "O Cio da Terra" (also included on that album) made national success in 1981 on Rolando Boldrin's TV show Som Brasil. Decidedly involved in a rootsy conception of work, they received the support of several artists like Nascimento, who performed with them on Som Brasil in 1982, on the TV Globo special Chico & Caetano and, in 1995, at the Teatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro), when Nascimento was paid tribute on the night of the Prêmio Sharp award. In 1987, their LP O Cio da Terra had the participation of Nascimento, Tavinho Moura, and Marcus Viana, selling 300,000 copies. In 1991, they were awarded with three Prêmios Sharp (Best Duo, Best Song for "Casa de Barro" by Xavantinho/Moniz, and Best Album for Cantadô de Mundo Afora). The next year, Renato Teixeira & Pena Branca e Xavantinho were awarded with a Prêmio Sharp and by the Association of Art Critics of São Paulo (APCA), in 1999 reaching the cipher of 100,000 copies sold. The duo continued to perform and record together until Xavantinho's demise in October 1999. Pena Branca carried on their work as a solo artist.