Cláudio Camunguelo

Biography by

Flutist, dancer, and singer/improviser in the partido-alto style, Cláudio Camunguelo has been building a solid reputation in the community circles of samba and choro since the '60s; but only after he…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Flutist, dancer, and singer/improviser in the partido-alto style, Cláudio Camunguelo has been building a solid reputation in the community circles of samba and choro since the '60s; but only after he got second place in the Choro Festival of Rio, was he presented to a larger audience. A self-taught musician, Camunguelo built by himself his first bamboo flute at 16. A stower by profession, having also worked in several small jobs, Camunguelo started in music by recording jingles at the Rádio Nacional, continuing to play and write songs and arrangements by ear. He was already a veteran when he met Zeca Pagodinho, who was 16 at that time. The first samba by the duo was "Sinuca de Bico," and then "Amarguras," which they performed at the Festival of Sambas de Terreiro of Portela in 1981. It was this samba that brought the first break for the two partners, and Elza Soares and Fundo de Quintal clamored to record it. After the festival, Camunguelo took Pagodinho to the Cacique de Ramos, which he frequented beginning in 1966; and it was there that Pagodinho was spotted by Beth Carvalho, starting his successful career.

In 1984, Camunguelo recorded a single containing "Amarguras" and "Gurufim" (Jorge Carioquinha). Today it is a rare recording, and one of the few by the flutist/vocalist, besides the compilation LP Explosão do Pagode (1986), which had him singing two of his songs, "Joanita" and "Lá na Favela" (written with Valdir Caramba); Só Gafieira, by Zé da Velha and Silvério Pontes, where he interprets his choro "Camunguelando"; and A Luz de um Vencedor, Luís Carlos da Vila's tribute to Candeia, in which Camunguelo participates in two tracks, singing and playing his flute. He recorded the tracks of his album at Acari Records, the Carioca label specializing in choro and samba, but until April 2002 he still hadn't a sponsor to release it; though Marisa Monte was interested. In October 2001, his composition "Zé Galinha" (written with Sílvio da Silva Jr.) got second place at the first Chorando no Rio, the choro festival of the state of Rio de Janeiro.