close6400_0.JPG Ary Barroso
Giant of Brazilian Song

Interpretes de Ary Barroso

The most Brazilian of Brazilians

The short history of Brazilian popular music is strewn with the names of illustrious songwriters. Few shine as brightly as Ary Barroso’s.

The first samba composer to attain international fame, Ary Barroso was a hitmaker extraordinaire. During the 1930s he wrote many of Carmen Miranda’s best-known vehicles. His hundreds of sambas, sambas-canções, and ballads have endured beyond his lifetime and are as compellingly delightful today as they were fifty years ago.

Ary Barroso invented a new genre of song (later baptized as samba-exaltação) one memorable night in 1939, when he sat at the piano and created what may very well be the planet’s most recognizable tune: “Aquarela do Brasil”—known the world over as simply “Brazil” (see lyrics in Portuguese and in English and Spanish).

In this site you’ll find the discography of “Aquarela do Brasil,” beginning with its first recording in 1939. The composer’s other million-air song, “Na Baixa do Sapateiro” (aka “Bahia” or “Baía”—see lyrics), is likewise covered.

But these two songs barely scratch the surface; we have assembled here the lyrics to many of Ary Barroso’s songs, from the well-known to the relatively obscure.

And just as “Aquarela” and “Baixa” alone can’t define this songwriter’s musical output, songwriting was but a facet of this fascinating man’s life. A lawyer by training, Ary Barroso possessed many talents and practiced them all: radio announcer, writer, humorist, reporter, producer, piano player, star maker, master of ceremonies, TV show host, interviewer, soccer commentator, narrator, and politician. An ardent fan of the Rio soccer club Flamengo, he rejected a Hollywood career to be near his favorite team.

The highlights of Ary Barroso’s colorful life are recounted in our Life & Times page. An expanded accounting is provided in Arthur de Faria’s article ExtraordinAry, published in the July 1997 issue of Brazzil magazine. Lesser known episodes in the composer’s life and work are revealed in Stories of Ary.

Many additional articles and the most extensive discography of Ary Barroso’s work on the Web can be found in Daniella Thompson’s Ary Barroso Discography.

Copyright © 1997–2016 Daniella Thompson & Ricardo Paoletti. All rights reserved.