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Paulinho DaViola

Son of a guitarist, Paulinho da Viola grew up in a musical atmosphere. His childhood in Botafogo, a traditional neighborhood of the southern area of Rio de Janeiro, where he was born on November 12, 1942, was full of music and history.

At that time, as there were not so many choices of industrial toys for the low middle class children, Paulinho and their friends had to be creative to have fun. The table top button soccer pieces were made of coconut, the soccer ball was made of socks and, if the police patrol car wasn’t around, the kids would play soccer in the middle of Pinheiro Guimarães street, improvising a field on it, a practice that would be unthinkable nowadays, due to the intense traffic on that thoroughfare.

Paulinho lived on that same street, with his parents, his grandparents, his brother and his godmother. It is a small and unpretentious house, still standing in that same place, one of the row of houses in an alley, as so many other houses of the neighborhood.

Paulinho's musical history begins with his father - Benedicto Cesar Ramos Faria – a guitarist who was a member of the first version of the legendary ensemble “Época de Ouro”, considered the greatest choro ensemble in history, still performing. Cesar used to play with them more for the fact that music was his calling and for fun, than for money. He provided for his family with the salary he earned as an official at the Federal Court. Musicians as Cesar, more than never, were free from trends and market demands; they made music for pleasure and because it was their calling.

Young Paulinho did not waste the opportunities to accompany his father, and for this reason he witnessed important musical sessions, some in his own house. In these gatherings, he listened to musicians like Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Tia Amélia, Canhoto da Paraíba and many others. Growing up in such an environment, he was motivated enough to start trying to play the first chords, using his father's guitar.

Still young he often went on his own to the sessions promoted by Jacob do Bandolim, the greatest guitar virtuoso in the country, and there he hanged around, eagerly listening to the musical sessions and to the stories told by the master. Despite all this experience, Paulinho never imagined that his calling could be having a musical career; this was because even great icons of the Brazilian music, like Jacob do Bandolim himself, were not exclusively musicians.

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