Antônio Maria Passos

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Famous, accomplished, and most-requested flutist Antonio Maria Passos changed for the sax because of the then-popular American foxtrots. Also an impeccable classical flutist, Passos had special importance…
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Famous, accomplished, and most-requested flutist Antonio Maria Passos changed for the sax because of the then-popular American foxtrots. Also an impeccable classical flutist, Passos had special importance in the engendering of choro, still a way of playing in his time. As a composer, he left several important works, including the valse "Ela Dorme." From 1910 on, as head of his Grupo do Passos, he recorded several albums for Casa Edison in the yellow label series (120,000). Flutist of the orchestra of the sophisticated Teatro Rio Branco, Passos missed some performances, which made the violonista Tute (who also played there) introduce the young Pixinguinha (who was around 14) to the theater owners (Auler and Quintela). Pixinguinha impressed the experienced and famous musicians with his impressive sight-reading and technique, and even used to insert his usual choro improvisations in the performances. When Passos returned to his job, the audience complained about the lacking of the improvisations. Annoyed, Passos abandoned the orchestra and Pixinguinha remained in his capacity. But Passos and Pixinguinha became great friends, as documented in the affectionate dedicatory of Pixinguinha's choro "Passinha." In 1918, Passos joined the fundamental trombonist Candinho Silva (who, together with Pixinguinha, later invented the 32-bar choro) in his Conjunto Carioca, which also had Nelson dos Santos Alves (cavaquinho) and the famous pioneer sambista Donga (violão). Together with Tute, Nelson dos Santos Alves, and Chiquinha Gonzaga (piano), formed the Grupo de Chiquinha Gonzaga, which recorded several albums for the American label Columbia in the 1920s.