Winner of the Choro Festival of the State of Rio de Janeiro in 2001 with his composition "Balançadinho," Jorge Cardoso consolidated for a wider audience the recognition already established by instrumentalists whom he had played with, like Hermeto Pascoal, Zé Menezes, Cliff Korman, Lula Galvão, Leandro Braga, Altamiro Carrilho, Henrique Cazes, Joel Nascimento, Conjunto Choro Livre, Cristóvão Bastos, Zé Dal Velha, Silvério Pontes, Conjunto Dois de Ouro, Luciana Rabello, Época de Ouro, Oficina de Cordas de Pernambuco, Déo Rian, Trio Madeira Brasil, and Dino Sete Cordas. Having started to play the guitar and the cavaquinho at 14, Jorge Cardoso took up the mandolin at 15. During the commemoration of the 60 years of the Pernambucan Conservatory of Music (Recife, Pernambuco), in 1990, he was the soloist on Radamés Gnattali's "Retratos" suite, accompanied by the Orquestra Sinfônica do Recife (Symphonic Orchestra of Recife). In the same decade, he performed Gnattali's "Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra," dedicated to Jacob do Bandolim, accompanied by the Orquestra de Câmara Eleazar de Carvalho chamber orchestra, in Fortaleza (Ceará). Cardoso recorded for the first time on the 1993 CD Pernambuco's Music. He made his debut on record as a mandolinist in 1994, with the CD Viagem Musical Pelo Nordeste do Brasil (Musical Journey Through the Brazilian Northeast), produced by the French recording company Alvidis. His first solo CD, Som de Bandolim, was launched in 1996 and appointed by choro critics as one of the three best of the year, having been nominated to the Sharp prize and to the Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura awards in 1998.