Laurindo Almeida was born on September 2, 1917, Sao Paulo, Brazil, A fluent and skilled musician, famous in his native country as a classical Spanish guitar player, Almeida came to the USA in the 40s to work in film and television studios(he composed music for over 800 movies & TV series and recorded numerous LPs and CDs). His jazz work was first widely exposed during a spell with Stan Kenton in the late 40s. Although continuing his film and television work, Almeida also took many opportunities to play jazz, joining forces with bassist Harry Babasin, altoist Bud Shank and drummer Roy Harte in 1953. The work of this group anticipated many of the hallmarks of the bossa nova craze which came a few years later.
In 1974 Almeida gained further appreciation when he was teamed with bassist Ray Brown, drummer Chuck Flores and Shank to form the La Four. Records by this group, with Flores replaced successively by Shelly Manne and Jeff Hamilton, and later teamings with Shank in duo performances and with fellow guitarists Larry Coryell and Charlie Byrd, show Almeida to have lost none of the distinctive style that sets his work apart from the mainstream of jazz guitar. His career has been celebrated by winning among others grammy awards in 1959 for his performance on Danzas, in 1960 for The Spanish Guitars Of Laurindo Almeida and Conversations With The Guitar. The following year he gained two more with Discantos and Reverie For Spanish Guitars and in 1962 further honours with nominations with Viva Bossa Nova! in the Best Performance By An Orchestra For Dancing and Best Jazz Performance categories and a third nomination with The Intimate Bach (Best Classical performance). In 1964 the album Guitar From Ipanema won the grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, in 1972 he was nominated for the Best Soloist award with The Art Of Laurindo Almeida. He died July 26th 1995 in Van Nuys, California, USA.