Henrique Cazes (Henrique Leal Cazes, Rio de Janeiro 02/02/1959)
Born in a family of amateur musicians (his father was a guitarist and composer; his mother a singer), he started to play the guitar when he was six years old. He gradually went on to play cavaquinho (a four-string soprano guitar similar to the ukulele), mandolin, tenor guitar, banjo, twelve-string "caipira" guitar and lately the electric guitar - all self taught.
His professional debut came in 1976, with Coisas Nossas (Our Stuff), an ensemble that reveled in Brazilian music of the 20s and 30s. In 1980 he joined Camerata Carioca, where he worked together with two musicians who influenced him enormously: mandolinist Joel Nascimento and famed composer Radamés Gnattali. With the Camerata Henrique recorded the albums "Vivaldi & Pixinguinha" (FUNARTE 1982) and "Tocar" (Polygram 1983). Working regularly with singers Nara Leão and Elizeth Cardoso, Camerata traveled all over the country and toured Japan in 1985.
In 1988, Henrique started his career as a cavaquinho soloist, recording his first LP "Henrique Cazes" (Musicazes). The same year he published the instructional book "Modern School of Cavaquinho" (Lumiar Editora), which is still the most respected music book on the instrument. Still as a soloist, he released "Tocando Waldir Azevedo" (Kuarup 1990), "Waldir Azevedo, Pixinguinha, Hermeto & Cia" (Kuarup 1992), "Desde que o Choro é Choro" (Kuarup 1995) and "Relendo Waldir Azevedo" (RGE 1997). In 1997 he wrote the book "Choro, do Quintal ao Municipal" (Editora 34), a history of the 150 years of Choro music.
Considered the best cavaquinho soloist today and certainly one of the most active, Henrique Cazes developed a parallel career as record producer (with numerous record awards), in addition to his work as a composer of film, theater and television soundtracks.