The Guitarra Baiana could be the first electric solid body mandolin.
The Guitarra Baiana, also known as the Bahian guitar was first built by Osmar Álvares Macêdo and Adolfo ‘Dodô’ Nascimento around 1942 or 1943 in Bahia, Brazil. The instrument was called ‘Cavaquinho Elétrico’ or ‘Pau Elétrico’ (electric log). It was a electrified hybrid between cavaquinho and mandolin.
The pau elétrico had four single courses of strings tuned like a mandolin (e-a-d-g) and looked like a stick. During the fifties it got the shape of electric guitars.
During the seventies pau elétrico became very popular in Brazil due to the foremost exponent Armandinho Macedo who expanded it’s use into rock and jazz. Armandinho called his fathers invention ‘Guitarra Baiana’ (The guitar from Bahia), and the name stuck. He also added a fifth string (c), inspired by the electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.
The instrument is used extensively in Brazilian carnivals, especially in the Carnaval da Bahia in Salvador, Bahia. The music is often frevo, rhytmic street dance or marcing tunes. Frevo has a flavour of hot boiling polka.
History of the Guitarra Baiana
It originated as an electrified hybrid between a Brazilian cavaquinho — a small guitar of Portuguese origin also ancestral to the ukulele — and a mandolin, using the string gauge and the short scale of the former and the tuning (GDAE) of the latter. Initially referred to ‘Cavaquinho Elétrico’ or ‘Pau Elétrico’ (=’electric log’), it came to be called Guitarra Baiana (=Bahian Electric Guitar) in the late 1970s. The instrument is intimately connected to Brazilian Carnival, where it is used extensively, especially in the Carnaval da Bahia of Salvador, Bahia State.
Nowadays, the Guitarra Baiana is usually manufactured to resemble a miniature electric guitar, very similar to the mandocaster, sporting a strat-shaped body with cutaways and a whammy bar, frequently also a (low) 5th string. Few people know, however, that the little instrument is by no means a copy of anything at all: With it’s birth going back to the early 1940s, in Salvador, Brazil, where it apparently evolved in isolation from the efforts of contemporary US developers like Les Paul or Leo Fender, the Guitarra Baiana can claim to descend from it’s own distinct line of prehistoric solid body electric guitars.
To the degree in which the instrument counts as a mandolin — in spite of the differences in measure and the lack of double strings, just like in the case of the mandocaster — the Pau Elétrico built by Osmar Álvares Macêdo and Adolfo ‘Dodô’ Nascimento around 1942 or 1943 (left) constitutes the eldest known solid body electric mandolin, as until then North American developers and manufacturors hadn’t applied the principle of solid or almost-solid bodies to mandolins to the same extend as they had to guitars. In addition, it also stands out as the first headless solidbody electric plucked instrument. Seen with todays eyes, side by side with the Chapman Stick or the headless bass models of Ned Steinberger the Pau Elétrico appears almost incredibly modern.
The fact that the Pau Elétrico surfaced so distantly from the United States, the epicentre of general electrification at the time, adds charisma to a fascinating paragraph in the history of electric instruments that the Guitarra Baiana certainly deserves. More importantly though, it’s creators must be credited with having set important accents in Brazilian popular music, by inventing an ‘endemic’ Brazilian version of the modern solid body electric guitar, and by supplying it with an individual musical language and style before anything of such could be imported from abroad. Finally, the Guitarra Baiana is responsible for revolutionizing Bahian Carnival in the 1950s, as essential ingredient in of the Trio Eletrico tradition which since then became the single most important trademark of the Carnaval da Bahia and Brazlian Street Carnival.
|1940s: The Dupla Elétrica and the Pau Elétrico|
Osmar Álvares Macêdo (3/22 1923 – 6/30 1997, right) and Adolfo Antônio Dodô Nascimento (11/10 1920- 6/15 1978) were part of the Salvador music scene since the 1930s. In the mid 30s, Dodô had helped to form the band Três e Meio (‘Three and a Half’), put together by the legendary Dorival Caymmi. In 1938, after Caymmis’ leave to Rio, Dodô restructured the band and added Osmar. Around 1942, the two friends saw a performance by guitarist Benedito Chaves from Rio de Janeiro -‘Benedito Chaves and his Electric Guitar’- featuring an acoustic guitar with a pickup mounted across the soundhole as the great attraction, which inspired them to craft their own guitar pickups.
He [Chaves] was going to bring the famous electric guitar, that none had seen before, to Bahia. I myself had thought that, being electric and all, it was going to play all by itself […] Benedito Chaves brought the electric guitar and we all went to see his show in Teatro Guarani, it was an apotheosis, it was beautiful! But there was this feedback effect, this whistling sound, pii, piii… Quite annoying. He [Chaves] had to stop playing, change the postion of the amplifier and reduce the volume in order to to compensate for the effect.
O. MACÊDO 1995, apud PAULAFREITAS (2005)
Dodô and Osmar went to talk to Chaves, who allowed them to take a closer look at the instrument and the electronics.
[…] Benedito was very receptive, not arrogant at all, he turned on the amplifier and let us try out the guitar. Since Dodô was a radio technician, an electronics technician, he wouldn’t just look at the mechanism but inspect it down to the tiniest detail. The very next day, he took to building an amplifier and a pickup exactly like those used by Benedito Chaves in the concert. Within a few days, he had prepared a guitar for himself, just like that of Benedito Chaves, and a cavaquinho for me. The feedback problem wasn’t fixed at all, which was very annoying, but nevertheless, this was the beginning of the Dupla Elétrica.
O. MACÊDO 1995, apud PAULAFREITAS
Shortly afterwards, Dodô and Osmar begin to perform with their new instruments, calling themselves the Dupla Elétrica (‘electric duo’), playing a repertory of chorinhos and paso dobles. For over a year they wrestled with the feedback effect, unable to play at full volume and obliged to change positions while performing. After Osmar noticed that feedback was diminished by covering the soundhole or by stuffing the guitar with a towel, they eventually struck upon the principle of the solid body.
Well… when I was embracing the instrument in a certain way, the feedback stopped. When i let go, it was there again. There we saw that it was the resonance chamber that was provoking the feedback. That’s where the idea came from to use a stick, a solid piece of log, like this one, and to put strings on it… just like with the instrument, only without a body. By itself, it would not make a sound, but when you plugged it in, it produced a clean and ringing tone, even at full volume. You could turn the amplifier all the way up, and still there was no feedback. This is how we identified the problem.
O. MACÊDO, 1995 apud PAULAFREITAS (2005)
“One day he [Dodô] decided to fix a single guitar string directly on two screws at either end of his workbench, and place a pickup below it, for testing purposes. When he turned on the amplification, boy, you can’t imagine: It rang like a bell, a clean and perfect sound. The principle was discovered.”
O. MACÊDO 1978 apud GÓES (1982)
The next iteration was far more sophisticated: Allegedly, Osmar visited a local music store (Primavera on Praça da Sé square in Salvador, the store still exists), asked for a guitar and a cavaquinho and disassembled their necks right in front of the vendor, saying that was all he needed. Back in the workshop, Dodô mounted each neck onto a slab of wood, put strings on and plugged in, and the Pau Elétrico (left) was born. By 1945 they were performing with their new instruments, playing an electric repertoire of popular tunes loud enough to entertain entire neighbourhoods. By the end of the decade, when their performances took them as far as Itaparica island, they had managed to power their system from batteries, and performed in carnival festivities like that of Calçada district using a cart . This mobile technology would also come to play an important role in the birth of what now is known as the Trio Elétrico tradition of Bahian carnvial.
|On January 29th 1951, a Monday before carnival, Dodô and Osmar had a key experience while witnessing a parade of the famous brass band Clube Carnvalesco Misto Vassourinhas, who performed in Salvador on their way from Recife to Rio de Janeiro. The Vassourinhas were specialized in Frevo music, an up-tempo marching band style from Pernambuco that had become popular all over Brazil since the 1930s. The performance of the Vassourinhas inSalvador was an important and much anticipated event, amply covered by newspapers, welcomed by the authorities and supported by sponsors and radio stations.|
“[…] Almost the entire city went to see the parade on Avenida Sête. […] I was there in the crowd, jumping and dancing behind them and next to them. It was pretty crazy, everybody was dancing. […] It was then when i said to Dodô: Dodô, lets go out and play this kind of music. I already knew some of the songs. Compositions by Nelson Ferreira and Capiba, Frevo Rasgado”, that kind of thing. The main theme is still played today, you know the one [sings the tune “Vassourinhas”]. This was when we set up the “Fobica”, using a Ford ’29.”
O. Macêdo, 1995 apud PAULAFREITAS (2005)
The ensuing events are of great importance in the history of Bahian Carnival: Osmar’s retired Ford ’29, used to haul metal parts for his workshop, was transformed into a moving stage, in order to enable Dodô and Osmar to perform brass band Frevo tunes with their exotic pau elétricos during the upcoming festivities. Equipped with a 2 kW generator, decorated with carnivalesque motives and speakers mounted on front and rear, the musical Ford, nicknamed Fobica (“road hog”), entered the scene around 4 pm on Carnival Sunday, prime time. Backed by 6 percussionists and Osmars’ father in law Armando Mereiles Costa dressed as a Hula dancer, it entered Rua Chile street at the height of Castro Alves square, mingling with the official parade (the car corso).
“..we messed up the corso, for we were followed by a compact crowd of people, jumping around and having fun like you’d never seen it in Bahia, […] It was very exciting. More than 200 meters of people following the Fobica […] When we were almost past Castro Alves Square, I asked Olegário Muriçoca, the driver, to halt for a while since the square offered more space. We asked him various times, but he just wouldn’t stop. Already mad, me and Dodô started yelling at him, upon which he replied that clutch and breaks had broken a while ago and that the car had he motor turned off . It was being pushed forward by the crowd.”
O. Macêdo, 1978 apud GÓES (1982)
This was the first time that popular carnival, usually restricted to backstreets and surburbs, had succesfully taken over the space of the offical celebrations which, although public, remained reserved for the activities of the Bahian elites. In hindsight, the parade of the Vassourinhas orchestra had served as a full dress rehearsal for the triumphant ride of the Fobica a few days later, including the enthusiatic reception of Frevo music by the entire city, the particular tunes, and the crowd that spontaneously followed the music around in a jumping dancing style. The episode had left everyone with their jaws down – including Dodô and Osmar – and marked the birth of both of a new musical genre (Frevo do Trio aka Frevo Novo aka Frevo Baiano) and a new form of celebrating carnival in Bahia, soon to be known as Trio Elétrico.
In the following year, Dodô and Osmar replaced their Fobica with a Chrysler Fargo pick up truck and added a third electric instrument to their set up: a triolimor tenor guitar, played by their friend Temístocles Aragão. Consequently, their name changed from Dupla Elétrica to Trio Elétrico. In the next year, they were back on a lorry featuring 8 speakers, flourescent lights and generators, sponsored by the local soft drink producer Fratelli Vita. By the mid 1950s, when other bands had copied the concept, the term Trio Elétrico became generic.
“… a Bahian industrial by the name of Miguel Vita noticed that the Trio Elétrico had great advertising potential. […] From thereon, the thing started growing, and other Trios appeared on pick up trucks, with lights and speakers everywhere. These people all played instruments that Dodô had built for them, since you couldn’t buy them anywhere as you can today. There were at least 3 other bands then: “5 Irmãos”, “Ipiranga”, and “Conjunto Âtlas” […] People would start to say ‘Here comes the Trio Elétrico’ when they saw these blinking vehicles playing frevo music. Eventually, the term would refer not just to our band, but to all these bands ….” O. MACÊDO 1978 apud GÓES (1982)
The years to come brought a landslide of vans, buses and trucks transformed into moving band stands, with an ever increasing sophistication in size, sound and decoration. Today, 60 years later, the old Ford’29 of the first Trio Elétrico evolved into the brontosaur sized road trains Bahian carnival has become so famous for: Mobile concert halls carrying 200 db (!) amplification on all four sides, a 25 piece band plus dancers stomping away on their roofs, very large crowds of people partying all around them and scientific articles published on the long term effects of exposure to their sound. The Pau Elétrico/Guitarra Baiana can take credit for having been among the principal raisons-de-être of these machines – which are still referred to as Trios.
When Dodô and Osmar withdrew from performing in 1960, the tradition was firmly established and continued to grow in in the hands of other trios, most notably the Trio Tapajós, organized by Orlando Campossince the second half of the 1950s.
The modern 5-string Guitarra Baiana descends from the odd looking Pau Elétrico (=”electric log”) or Cavaquinho Eletrico, built in the 1940s by Adolfo ‘Dodô’ Nascimento and Osmar Álvares Macêdo in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The Pau Elétrico featured the neck or fretboard of a cavaquinho mounted onto a lengthy slab of jacarandá (Brazilian Rosewood), a homemade magnetic pickup and four single strings tuned in 5ths (GDAE, like a mandolin), resulting into an electrified cross bewteen two acoustic instruments using an entirely solid body. This combination met the natural requirements of its creators, who had the habit of playing the (single stringed) cavaquinho tuned like a mandolin. The same approach was used to create a 6-string version of a pau elétrico, with the neck and tuning of a guitar. Dodô and Osmar never bothered to file a patent and allegedly it wasn’t until the late 1940s that they became aware of the existance of solid body electric guitars made in the US .
The fact that the Guitarra Baiana evolved in an entirely native context is of considerable importance for the history of Brazilian popular music, as it gave the instrument a head start over imported models and styles, which contributed to its musical individualization. The circumstance that it emerged in the same time frame as important ancestral electric guitars in the US (Les Paul’s legendary Log Guitar from 1941 and the patents filed by Leo Fender e Doc Kauffman in 1944) has inspired claims that the solid body electric guitar was invented in Brazil. While such claims appear farfetched, it may be argued that the Pau Elétrico can be regarded as the first solid body electric mandolin (considering it’s mandolin tuning) as solid body electric mandolins didn’t appear in the US until the early 1950’s.
In the exhiibtion “Corredor da Historia”, organized by Aroldo Macedo, a son of Oscar Macedo, the model in the photograph to the right is displayed as an example of a Pau Eletrico model from the 1940s. Besides being headless (the tuning pegs are at the bottom of the instrument and not at the end of the neck) the instrument features a single sided headstock (the tuning pegs are all on the same side), which is normally thought to have first been introduced with the scrolled headstock designs by Bigsby and Fender around 1947. It is important to note that the eldest known photographs of this model are from the 1970s, and that original photographs of pau elétricos used in trio eletrico performances in the early 1950s all show models with guitar shaped bodies and “Spanish” (double sided) headstocks. Moreover, television documentaries from 2010 show an image of a much simpler model resembling Beauchamps “Frying Pan” and featuring a Spanish headstock. Hence, the exact construction date of the model shown in the image must be considered unclear. If, as it is frequently claimed, it is really from the early 1940s, or a replica sharing identical characteristics, then its headless approach would predate the headless electric bass designs of Ned Steinberger by several decades, and the scrolled headstock idea of Bigsby and Fender by a couple of years.
The instrument retained its original name — Pau Elétrico or Cavaquinho Elétrico — until the mid 1970s. While pau elétrico models using the original stick design continued to find frequent use in performances until the 80s and 90s, other models with more guitar oriented designs had appeared by the early 1950’s. Through the 50s and 60s, it was used exclusively to play an instrumental arragements based on Frevo music during carnival in Salvador, usually on a moving van or truck known as Trio Elétrico that carried the musicians and the amplification through the streets. The first studio recording of a pau eletrico, by the band Trio Tapajós, dates from 1969.
From the mid 1960s, Osmar Macêdo’s youngest son Armando (*1953), familiar with the instrument since his early childhood and then aged around 10, begins to appear as a guitrarra baiana soloist in during Bahian Carnival. Before long, Armandinho Macêdo becomes the undisputed master of his fathers creation, widely expanding it’s stylistic horizons by introducing it to Rock and Jazz elements. In the mid 1970’s, Armandinhos band A Cor do Som establishes it as a Rock instrument on a national and international level. In 1977, Armandinho began to use the term Guitarra Baiana to refer to it in recordings, which stuck until today.
Until the mid 1970s, most guitarra-baianas, including those of other bands, were built by ‘Dodô’ Nascimento. Following his death in 1978, the fabrication of the instrument dispersed. Numerous builders, such as Vitorio Quitanilha from Del Vecchio Guitars, Luizinho Dinamite or Jader introduced variations of the original corpus design. In 1981, Armandinho himself, inspired by the instrument of electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, added a 5th string (a low C) to the Guitarra Baiana , and in 1985 Luizinho Dinamite added the whammy bar. The first semi acoustic 10-string guitarra baiana was introduced by Jorge Itacaranha in 1996.
Today, the models used by Armandinho Macêdo are the last to maintain the original measures (34,8 cms between bridge and nut of and a height of about 3,5 cm). Recent models by a new genration of luthiers like Elifas Santana, M. Laghus or Jean Paul Charles diverge from that design. Those produced by Elifas Santana (right) in collaboration with Osmars’ son Aroldo Macêdo for example use a measure that is roughly 4 cms longer and have a more voluminous body.
The Guitarra Baiana played an important part in the development of modern Brazilian popular music, shaping its vocabulary by directly projecting elements of traditional music into contemporary Pop, while beeing widely acknowledged as an authentic part of both. The rise of Axé Music -for better or worse- is unthinkable without it.
Guitarra Baiana – Claim to Fame
Antes do gringo a guitarra ele inventou ….”
(‘Dodô, Dodô, he invented the electric guitar before a gringo did so.’)
Viva Dodô e Osmar
Moraes Moreira & Zé Américo
Lyrics like the above, from a classic late 1970s Bahian Carnival tune written by Moraes Moreira, celebrate the development of the Pau Elétrico (‘electric log’) by Dodô Nascimento and Osmar Macêdo around 1942 and the beginnings of the Trio Elétrico tradition in the early 1950s. The cheerful allegation that the solid body electric guitar was invented in Bahia draws from the fact that the Pau Eletrico — whose exact birth date isn’t precisely established — emerged in near synchronicity with the legendary Log Guitar, an important electric guitar dinosaur developed by Les Paul in 1941. In addition, the patents filed by Doc Kauffman and Leo Fender in 1944 (for lapsteel guitar models and pickups) are often mentioned as an example for how the two Brazilians may have lost out by never bothering to register their invention. While most of such claims are untenable , the heat of the argument seems to lead enthusiasts to overlook that another claim to fame can be made for the Guitarra Baiana/Pau Elétrico with good safety: That of beeing the first solid body eletric mandolin.
The idea of reducing or even removing the resonance chamber of a string instrument to reduce acoustic feedback goes back to at least 1923, in a prototypic electric viola designed by Lloyd Allayre Loar, developer at Gibson. The instrument shared all relevant characteristics with the one shown to the left, a violin Loar filed a patent for in 1933. Loar, an acclaimed expert in mandolin construction, likely had good reasons — perhaps related to the preservation of certain acoustic charateristics — for not applying the exact same approach to the mandolins and guitars he was developing at the same time. In essence, this is what Les Paul did with his Log Guitar (far right, above) and what Dodô & Osmar did with their Pau Elétrico in the early 1940s.
Pre-1940s guitar developers in the US were aware of the concept and made use of it as well. Many experimental models of early guitarish electric instruments had entirely solid bodies, as did the protoype of Rickenbacker & Beauchamp’s 1931 Frying Pan, whose wooden corpus allegedly came from a fencepost behind the workshop. That many production models, in turn, were not entirely solid was due to drawbacks that solid bodies had at the time, in terms of material cost, fabrication techniques and final weight. Rickenbackers’ Electro String Bakelite Spanish Guitar from 1935 (see the bw photo in the above illustration) for example, a hard plastic design that successfully eliminated feedback, was too heavy — while not even being completely solid — to be used without a stand.
For whatever the reason, it wasn’t until the early 1950s that US developers set out to apply the principle of the solid body to electric mandolins as consequently as they had to their guitars. All important pre-1940’s electric mandolin dinosaurs — Rickenbacker’s 1931 Electro String model, Loar’s 1933 Vivitone patent, National Resophonic’s 1934 model, and also post-1935 models by Gibson (EM), National (Silvo) and Vega — follow traditional designs and feature hollow bodies. Our best bet is that the use of double strings and a short sustain, both responsible for a characteristic mandolin sound, represented constraints that made US developers stick to acoustic and semi hollow designs. The Brazilians apparently felt much less restricted by such considerations: Their instruments had to be loud and feeback free, and sound “long and clean as a bell” (MACÊDO 1995). In other words, they had to sound like a guitar rather than like a mandolin. Osmar Macedo’s habit of using the single stringed Brazilian cavaquinho tuned up as a mandolin (GDAE) lead to the development of a single stringed electric mandolin with a solid body: the Pau Elétrico.
In the US, the first solid body electric mandolin (equipped with 5 single strings tuned CGDAE) was built by Paul Bigsby in 1952, for Western Swing mandolinist Tiny Moore. (This instrument predates the 5 string versions of the Guitarra Baiana that appeared in the early 1980s).
The first 8-string (4 double strings) solid body electric mandolin, Gibson’s Electric Florentine a.k.a. EM-200 came out in 1954 (left), followed by the 4-string Strat shaped Mandocaster built by Fender in 1956 (right) and a series of models made by Rickenbacker between 1958 and 1965 (with 4 single strings, 5 single strings and 4 double strings).
The Fender Mandocaster is commonly regarded as mandolin, principally because of its tuning and in spite of the lack of double strings. The same reasoning applies to the Pau Elétrico, which in essence is an early Mandocaster, or a Brazilian Cavacocaster of sorts. Hence, to the degree in which the Mandocaster is granted “mandolin status” — which is usually the case — the instrument crafted by Dodô and Osmar between 1942 and 1945 represents the eldest known electric solid body mandolin.
Notable Guitarra Baiana Players
Here is a (very incomplete) list of notable guitarra-baiana players (alphabetic).
- Aderson – Originally with Banda Scorpius (an early version of Chiclete com Banana) and Banda EVA. Highly skilled guitarra baiana player now living in Nevada.
- Sergio Albuquerque – With Microtrio a.ka. Micro-Trio a.k.a Mini-Trio, a small and independant trio eletrico which is a regular in Bahian Carnival. Great Jazz and Blues player, played wit Banda Pinel.
- Altair – Guitarra baiana chord and harmony developer and sideman of Luis Caldas in the 1980s.
- Temistocles Aragão – Partner of Dodô & Osmar in the early 1950s, completing the trio formation of the legendary early Trio Elétricos, playing a ‘pau-elétrico-version’ of a ‘triolim’ (tenor guitar, tuned CGDA).
- Roberto ‘Betinho’ Barreto – of the Lampironicos. His solo project “Baiana System” mixes guitarra baiana sounds with Dub & more.
- Luiz Brazil – Armandinho’s partner in two great compositions: Pororocas and Jazziquefrevo.
- Mou Brazil – Guitarra Baiana player in the 1980s, today a respected Jazz guitarist who works with big names in Brazilian music.
- Cacik Jonne – João Fernandes da Silva Filho, guitarrist and composer, member of Chiclete com Banana between 1980 and 2001. A legend of Bahian Carnival, tragically haunted by a disease since 2001.
- Luis Caldas – Came to fame as the inventor of a style called Fricote a key figure of the early days of Axé Music
- Orlando “Tapajós” Campos – Founder of the Trio Tapajós in the late 1950s. The most influential figure, second only to Dodô and Osmar, in the history of the Guitarra Baiana and Trio Elétrico traditions of Bahian carnival.
- Jean Paul Charles – Jazz instrumentalist and luthier born in France living in Salvador, Bahia since 1995. With Jazz no MAM.
- Dico – A legend since the 1980s.
- Edgarzinho – Guitarra Baiana player in the 1980s, now living and working in New York City.
- Mintcho Garrammone – Multi-instrumentalist from Argentina. Plays accordeon, cavaquinho, mandolin and guitarra baiana with percussionist Ramiro Musotto’s Orquesta Sudaka
- Lito – Played in the legendary Trio Eletrico Tapajós in the 1970s
- Ricardo Marques – Guitarra Baiana with Bloco Crocodilo and Trio Traz os Montes and with the bands Rosa dos Ventos and Gente Brasileira.
- Melo – With Trio Eletrico Tapajós in the 1970s
- Armandinho Macêdo – Osmar Macêdos’ son. Began performing at age 10 in the 60s.
- Aroldo Macêdo – Armandinhos elder brother, very active.
- Osmar Álvares Macêdo – 3/22 1923 – 6/30 1997
- Fred Menendez – Great mandolin and guitarra baiana player, trio eletrico veteran since the late 1970s.
- Missinho – of Chiclete Com Banana. Composed songs like Tulasy, Lance Baiano and Transcedança. Completed the guitarra baiana ‘tandem’ with the great Cacik Jonne.
- Marcos Moletta – Guitarist and mandolinist, played Forróçacana and performs with Moraes Moreira, Nicolas Krassik & Cordestinos and Los Papitos.
- Pará Monteiro – Played with Trio Traz a Massa in the 1980s and composed the song Frevo Diminuto.
- Moroto Slim – with the influential Bahian Rock bands Dead Billies and Retrofoguetes. Surf & Rockabilly guitar wizard and winner of the Best Instrumentalist award of Bahian Carnival in 2008.
- Musso – 1980s. Itabuna (Southern Bahia) based guitarra baiana player.
- Adolfo “Dodô” Nascimento – 11/10 1920 – 6/15 1978. The creator of the original Pau Eletrico and Bahias first solid body electric guitarist, with the Dupla
- Eletrica in the early 1940s.
- Eugénio Nobre – Skilled electric guitar, mandolin and guitarra baiana player.
- Fernando Padre – 1980s. Played with Novos Barbaros.
- Renatinho – A big name from the 1970s.
- Nino Moura – Played guitarra baiana for Grupo Mar Revolto and Banda Pinel.
- Moacyr Soares – Born in 1932, the most seasoned veteran of the guitarra baiana still active today and a living legend of the Bahian Carnaval da Bahia. Participated in the first studio recordings of the guitarra baiana in 1969 and played on the original Caetanave Trio in the early 1970s. Today, he plays with Varanda Elétrica, founded by him in 2006, which performs on the veranda of his residence.
- Tourinho – Guitarra Baiana player of the 1980s
- Alexandre Vargas – Sideman for Daniela Mercuri, plays a 6-string guitarra baiana in his solo project ‘Psico Guitar‘.
- Vicente – Guitarra Baiana player in the 1980s
- Kinho Xavier – Choro Mandolinist and Guitarra Baiana expert with creative Jazz and experimental tendendies.
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