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Singer, composer, caviquinho player, Arlindo Cruz is considered to be perhaps the most important figure in contemporary Samba e Pagode. Cruz started playing the caviquinho (Brazilian mandolin) at 9 and by his early teens was working professionally with legendary sambista, Candeia. An extraordinary composer, Cruz has had more than 550 song recorded by a list of musicians that reads like a who's who in the world of samba including Beth Carvalho, Alcione, Zeco Pagadinho, amongst others. In the 1990s, Cruz took up a new challenge writing enredos, or the theme songs, for Rio's samba schools. On eight occasions, his songs have been chosen as theme songs including Carnival 2012 where his enredo, Você Semba lá...que eu sambo cá! O canto livre de Angola has been chosen by the Rio Samba school, Vila Isabel. And, of course, he is a regular in Salvador on Thursday night, the first night of carnival, a night dedicated to Samba on the Campo Grande Circuit.

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