An authentic representative for 32 years of the rural samba and repente (music and verses improvised in the heat of the moment) from Bahia, Bule-Bule has devoted his life to producing music in the tradition of the chulas do sertão, cocos, martelos, agalopados, xote, and marche de pé-de-serra. His work is soaked with Moorish and black influences. A writer of cordéis (northeast Brazilian popular literature sold in fairs hanging from strings or cordéis), Bule-Bule is a stranger to mainstream cultural industry, having made his career in cantador (minstrel) wandering throughout the Northeastern hinterlands of Brazil. His work incorporates themes ranging from the existential to political issues, and even ecology receives his attention.
After spending the 1970s doing shows in squares around upcountry cities, in 1979 he recorded his first album, Cantadores da Pedra do Sol, working with another Bahian singer, Zé Pedreira. Having had the quality of his compositions acknowledged by researchers and critics, even then Bule-Bule remained unknown to major audiences outside Bahia. In 1993, he was appointed Honorary Citizen of the city of Salvador, capital of Bahia. Continuing to produce his cordéis and to perform shows with his group Cacimba Nova, Bule-Bule crossed the boundaries of his state and produced admirers in the distant São Paulo, recording there, in 1995, with collaborator Antônio Queirós the album Fome e Vontade de Comer. In 1997, Bule-Bule founded the Instituto de Pesquisa, Estudo e Ensino da Cultura Popular do Nordeste (Ipecpon, Institute for Research, Studying and Teaching of Northeastern Popular Culture) to promote research and create groups and activities connected with Northeastern culture.