An artist who, with her unique rhythm feel that is not shared with any pianist of her generation, helped to blur the line that divides the popular from the erudite. Carolina Cardoso de Meneses had a formal pianistic education, but dedicated herself to work in the popular field. Her solo piano albums draw from previous sources of the same approach, like the composer Ernesto Nazareth, who had his works recorded by her in her Música de Ernesto Nazareth and other albums. She worked with Garoto and the Trio Surdina and was one of the first musicians to adapt the jazz idiom to Brazilian music; she was also one of the precursors of the bossa nova movement. She was one of the pioneers of Brazilian rock, having released her Brasil Rock in 1957. She had success with her instrumental compositions (her biggest hit in this genre being 1942's "Eu Sou Do Barulho") and her songs with lyrics (mostly by Armando Fernandes) were recorded by singers like Francisco Alves, Ângela Maria, Orlando Silva, Sílvio Caldas, Isaurinha Garcia, Cauby Peixoto, and Wanderley Cardoso. She accompanied many national big-time artists in radio and theater performances and also accompanied the international stars Josephine Baker, Pedro Vargas, and Charles Trenet in their Brazilian tours. In 1968, her marcha-rancho "Aquela Rosa Que Você Me Deu" (with Armando Fernandes) had the second place at the II Concurso de Músicas de Carnaval da Cidade da Guanabara (the old name of the city of Rio de Janeiro), interpreted by Ellen de Lima. In the '90s she was still active, having recorded her last CD in 1997, Preludiando.
Daughter of pianist Osvaldo Cardoso de Meneses, Carolina Cardoso de Meneses began her formal piano studies at 13 after years of self-teaching. She graduated by the Instituto Nacional de Música in 1930 and continued to study (theory and harmony). In the same year, at age 14, she participated in the historic recording of the samba "Na Pavuna" (Almirante/Homero Dornelas), when, for the first time, a batuque was recorded at a studio with the full percussion set. She was hired by Rádio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro and also worked in several of the most important stations of that time, hosting her own show O Piano da Carolina at Rádio Nacional. In 1931, she wrote and recorded the music of the film Mulher (Otávio Gabus Mendes). In 1932, she recorded her composition "Preludiando" (Odeon) for the first time. In 1942, she recorded a series of 78s with Garoto, Garoto e Carolina. She recorded many albums in her long career, one of the last being Fafá e Carolina (1989), shared with violinist Fafá Lemos.