A most successful composer, arranger, producer, and harmonica player, Rildo Hora was awarded several times with the Prêmio Sharp. His songs have been recorded by Elis Regina ("O Bem do Amor," on her eponymous album), Luíz Gonzaga ("Chico Valente"), Ciro Monteiro ("Luciana e o Mar"), Clara Nunes ("A Estrela e o Astronauta"), Maria Creuza ("Janelas Azuis" and "Para Falar a Verdade"), Tamba Trio ("Visgo de Jaca"), Martinho da Vila ("Andando de Banda," "Negros Odores," "Quiproquó," "Transando em Nova York," "Por Causa de um Cheiro de Amor"), and Elizete Cardoso ("Prezado Amigo").
As a musician, he has performed, recorded, and toured with Dóris Monteiro, Sílvia Telles, Elizete Cardoso, Nora Ney, Wanderléa, Trio Esperança, the Fevers, Renato e Seus Blue Caps, and Roberto Carlos.
Hora has produced many albums for João Bosco, Martinho da Vila, Beth Carvalho, Luíz Gonzaga, Zeca Pagodinho, Clarisse, Walter Alfaiate, and Dudu Nobre. A self-taught musician, Hora took the harmonica at six. In the next year, he won a contest sponsored by the Hering harmonica factory. Having won the contest, Hora was invited by Fred William to join the Hering harmonica group. At 12, he started to perform on the radio stations Mayrink Veiga, Nacional, Vera Cruz, Mauá, and Guanabara. In 1958, he formed the Trio Malabaristas da Gaita (with the other harmonica players Luís Guimarães and Sérgio Leite), which performed on TV Rio. In the next year, he had his first recorded song, "Brigamos Com o Amor" (with Gracindo Júnior), by Carminha Mascarenhas. Hora recorded his first album in 1960, with "Anjo" (Hora/Alcino Diniz) and "Nem Uma Luz Brilhou" (Gilvan Chaves). In 1962, he became Costa's accompanist and in the next year, he was hired as a regular musician to play at the Cangaceiro club in Rio de Janeiro, having formed the Quarteto do Cangaceiro with Raul Mascarenhas (piano), Muxiba (bass), and Papão (drums). The quartet accompanied Helena de Lima on her Uma Noite no Cangaceiro and Miltinho on his Miltinho ao Vivo. In 1968, Hora became a producer for RCA Victor. In 1983, he participated in Martinho da Vila's tour through Mozambique and Angola. In 1984, Hora performed the Villa-Lobos "Concert for Harmonica and Orchestra" at the Funarte Sidney Miller Hall (Rio). Three years later, he executed the same concert at the Cecília Meirelles Hall (Rio). Also in 1987, he recorded with Sivuca the LP Sanfona & Realejo, winning his first Sharp prize as Best Arranger (with Sivuca). In 1988, he interpreted the "Suite Quatro Coisas," written especially for him by Guerra-Peixe. With Romero Lubambo, he launched Autonomia in 1990. Two years later, Hora launched the CD Espraiado, which was distributed in the U.S., and was included by American critics in the ten-best Latin albums of the year.