Walter Alfaiate

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A major figure in the samba milieu, Walter Alfaiate has written more than 200 sambas in his 50-year career, but so far he has recorded only one album, Olha Aí (1998), when he was 68. Alfaiate started…
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Artist Biography by

A major figure in the samba milieu, Walter Alfaiate has written more than 200 sambas in his 50-year career, but so far he has recorded only one album, Olha Aí (1998), when he was 68. Alfaiate started to work as a tailor at 13, having his nickname (the Brazilian word for that profession) derived from that. Since early on, he wrote sambas for the local Carnaval blocos (small groups) Foliões de Botafogo and São Clemente. In the '60s, he participated in the rodas de samba (samba get-togethers) at the Opinião theater and in the groups Reais do Samba (1968) and Os Autênticos (1966-1968) with his main partner Mauro Duarte, Noca da Portela, and Eli Campos (still as Walter Nunes), though he was only introduced to a major audience in the early '70s when Paulinho da Viola recorded "Cuidado, Teu Orgulho Te Mata" (with Mauro Duarte). In 1978, João Nogueira recorded "Bate-Boca" (with Duarte); in the next year, Paulinho da Viola recorded "Coração Comprimido" (with Zorba Devagar), interpreting in 1981 "A.M.O.R. Amor" (with Duarte). In 1993, da Viola and Alfaiate performed together in a show with the Sambas of Botafogo at the Clara Nunes theater (Rio de Janeiro). In 1999, he performed for one month at the Mistura Fina club with Wilson DasNeves, Nelson Sargento, Noca da Portela, and Augusto Martins. In the same year, he had a season in São Paulo accompanied by the Água de Moringa. In 2000, he promoted the tribute show Roda de Bamba at the Image and Sound Museum of Rio de Janeiro to Paulinho da Viola, Manacéia, and Duarte. In the same year, he commemorated his 70 years at the Niterói municipal theater with the participation of Aldir Blanc and other important samba artists.