Monarco is a member of the traditional Velha Guarda da Portela, a group with the venerable composers of the Portela samba school. His sambas have been recorded with success by Martinho da Vila ("Tudo Menos Amor" with Walter Rosa), Paulinho da Viola ("Passado de Glória" and "O Lenço"), Roberto Ribeiro ("Proposta Amorosa"), Beth Carvalho ("Fim de Sofrimento"), João Nogueira, Maria Creuza, Zeca Pagodinho (whose first hit was "Coração em Desalinho," also recording "Vai Vadiar"), and Clara Nunes ("Rancho da Primavera," "Vai Amor," with Walter Rosa), among others. Tudo Azul, produced by Marisa Monte in 1999 with the Velha Guarda da Portela, Paulinho da Viola, and Zeca Pagodinho, features his work. Since his childhood, he has been a friend of Paulo da Portela's and a regular at the rodas de samba; he wrote his first sambas during that period. In 1950, he became a member of Portela's ala dos compositores (composers' section) and also became the schools diretor de harmonia (one of the most important functions in the samba school, coordinates the entrance of the different sections in the parade) later. His first recorded composition was "Vida de Rainha" (with Alvaiade), by Risadinha in 1975. His first solo album as an interpreter was released in 1976 (Monarco Continental). His first CD was released in 1991 (Monarco, a Voz do Samba) in Japan. His albums have also been released in Europe and the U.S. A Voz do Samba (Kuarup) brought him a Sharp prize as Best Samba Singer.