A member of historic groups like the Oito Batutas, the Velha Guarda (in which he played with Donga, Pixinguinha, and other important musicians), and Carlito Jazz, Sebastião Cirino also had some success as a composer, having had his biggest hit with the maxixe "Cristo Nasceu Na Bahia" (with Duque in 1926). The song was included in the revue Tudo Preto, staged at the Teatro Rialto by the Black Company of Revues. Decades later, it was recorded with success by Eliana Pittman in the LP Pra Sempre. He also had a regular success with "Eu Fui Viajar" (with Duque) and "Nunca Mais" (Nelson Lucena/Sebastião Cirino).
Cirino moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1913. Very poor, he had to work several small jobs while sleeping on the sidewalks, having being arrested for vagabondage. In a penal colony, he learned music theory and trumpet, playing in the band of the convicts. Later, he served the Army as a musician. After his discharge, he was hired to play at the Cinema Guanabara in Botafogo (Rio de Janeiro). In that period, he wrote "Ao Nascer o Astro-Rei" (with Pedro Pereira Paulo), with which the Carnaval bloco (group) Caprichosos da Estopa won a contest promoted by the Jornal do Brasil daily. In the '20s, Cirino went to Europe with the Oito Batutas. In 1923, Donga invited him to be the trumpeter of Os Oito Cotubas, which opened at the Cabaré Fênix. He soon joined Brazilian Jazz, formed by J. Tomás, which debuted at Cinema Central and performed in several theaters at the Tiradentes Square. In 1926, Bataclan, a famous French company of revues owned by Madame Resimir, came to Rio for the second time and invited Cirino and Donga to work in the accompanying musical group, which also had Augusto Vasseur (piano), Orozino (saxophone), Zé Povo (trombone), João Vanderlei (violin), and Carlinhos (drums). By the end of the season, Madame Resimir invited the group to follow with the company in a tour throughout Brazil. After that, the company went to Portugal, performing in several cities. Returning then to Brazil, Cirino was hired by the Carlito Jazz group still in 1926, with Donga. Departing with the group to Europe in the same year, Cirino remained in that country until 1939, having received from the French government a decoration for his cultural contribution as a musician. Upon his return to Brazil, he formed an orchestra with only black musicians that performed in the Assírio Cabaret and in the Cassino Atlântico. In June 1954, he participated in the show A Noite da Velha Guarda at the Hotel Glória (Rio de Janeiro), performing again with Pixinguinha, Alfredinho Flautim, and João da Baiana.