Alfredo Portugues

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The composer and singer Alfredo Português, nicknamed after his Portuguese birth, was a sailor of the Portuguese merchant navy and came to Brazil hired by the Brazilian mercantile marine. Already a singer/composer…
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The composer and singer Alfredo Português, nicknamed after his Portuguese birth, was a sailor of the Portuguese merchant navy and came to Brazil hired by the Brazilian mercantile marine. Already a singer/composer of fados in his hometown (Lisbon), Português settled in the Mangueira hill (Rio de Janeiro), frequenting its rodas de samba (samba get-togethers). In 1936, he adopted Nelson Matos as his godson. The boy, who was 12 at the time, would later be known as Nelson Sargento. A regular frequenter of the extinct samba school Unidos da Mangueira (for which he wrote several sambas-enredo with Mossoró), Português was invited in 1941 by the Rádio Cruzeiro do Sul to join the historic show A Voz do Morro with Cartola and Paulo da Portela. In 1947, Português was invited by Carlos Cachaça to join the Ala de Compositores da Mangueira (Composers' Wing of the Mangueira samba school). In 1948, he wrote "Rio São Francisco" with Sargento and two years later, with the same partner, the samba-enredo "Apologia dos Mestres." The samba was not presented during the parade because the plot (enredo) was changed by the school a week before it; Português/Sargento penned then another samba-enredo for the new plot, "Saúde, Lavoura, Transporte e Educação," presented during the Carnaval contest. Also written in 1954 was the samba-enredo "Aspectos do Rio" and Português wrote with Sargento in the next year "Cântico à Natureza," a hit recorded by Jamelão and acknowledged in 1975 as one of the ten-best sambas-enredo from Mangueira. His "Samba do Operário" (with Sargento/Cartola) was recorded in 1998 by João Nogueira in Chico Buarque da Mangueira. The Department of Culture of the City of Rio de Janeiro launched in 2000 the CD Mangueira. Sambas de Terreiro e Outros Sambas, which had several compositions by Português, such as "Naquela Noite de Sereno" (with Babaú da Mangueira), recorded by Sargento and Comprido; "Freira Querida" (with Nelson Cavaquinho); and "Os Teus Olhos Cansam de Chorar" (with Nelson Cavaquinho), interpreted by Sargento.