Son of a bandleader Claudionor Cruz worked on more than 400 recordings as composer, drummer, and/or cavaquinho/tenor violão player. He wrote classics like "Eu Brinco" (recorded by Francisco Alves), "Caprichos do Destino" (recorded by Orlando Silva) and "A Felicidade Perdeu Seu Endereço" with Pedro Caetano. With Ataulfo Alves he wrote "Sei Que é Covardia" (recorded by Carlos Galhardo) and "Errei." He had other illustrious partners like Wilson Batista, and recorded/performed with Orlando Silva, Francisco Alves, Araci de Almeida, and many other top artists. His first instrument was the snare drum. He became a professional at the cavaquinho and formed his group, Claudionor Cruz e Seu Regional, in 1932, which worked actively in the accompaniment of artists in several radio and TV stations of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, rivaling Benedito Lacerda. He had musicians like Abel Ferreira and Bola Sete in his group. His first composition to be recorded (in 1935 by Augusto Calheiros) was "Tocador de Violão" (w/Pedro Caetano).
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