Roberto Menescal

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Roberto Menescal
Roberto menescal tvbrasil.jpg
Background information
Born (1937-10-25) October 25, 1937 (age 85)
GenresBossa nova, samba, música popular brasileira
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, record producer, arranger, label owner
Years active1950s–present
LabelsPolyGram, Albatroz

Roberto Menescal (born October 25, 1937) is a Brazilian composer, record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and pioneer of bossa nova. In many of his songs there are references to the sea, including his best-known composition "O Barquinho" ("Little Boat"). He is also known for work with Carlos Lyra, Nara Leão, Wanda Sá, Ale Vanzella, and many others. Menescal has performed in Latin music genres such as Música popular brasileira (Brazilian pop), bossa nova, and samba. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy for his work with his son's bossa group Bossacucanova in 2002 and received the 2013 Latin Recording Academy Special Awards in Las Vegas in November 2013.[1]


In 1957, he worked as sideman for Sylvia Telles in Brazil.[2] A year later he started a guitar school with Carlos Lyra. He formed one of the earliest bossa nova bands with Bebeto, Henrique, João Mário, and Luís Carlos Vinhas.[2] He spread bossa nova through performances and concerts in the late 1950s and early 1960s, such as the I Festival de Samba Session.[2] Alaíde Costa recorded Menescal's song "Jura de Pombo" in 1959.[2] "O Barquinho" was recorded the next year by Maysa, Paulinho Nogueira, and Perry Ribeiro.[2] He sang "O Barquinho" at Carnegie Hall in 1962 when he attended the Bossa Nova Festival with Carlos Lyra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.[2] During the middle to late 1960s, he was an arranger and record producer for PolyGram, producing music for Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben Jor, and Caetano Veloso.[2] In 1970, he became the talent scout for PolyGram. He composed music for movies and television and was a sideman in the studio for Nara Leão, Elis Regina, Jair Rodrigues, and Claudette Soares.[2] In the 1980s, he concentrated on a solo career, recording with jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson.[2] He owns the record label Albatross.[2]


  • A Bossa Nova (Elenco, 1963)
  • The Boy from Ipanema Beach (Kapp, 1965)
  • O Conjunto De Roberto Menescal (1969)
  • Um Cantinho, Um Violão (Philips, 1985)
  • Swingueira (Albatroz, 1996)
  • Bossa Evergreen (Albatroz, 2000)
  • Brasilidade (Six Degrees, 2001)
  • Bossa Entre Amigos (Albatroz, 2003)
  • Bossa Jazz Session with Eddy Palermo (Albatroz, 2003)
  • Bossa Zen (Albatroz, 2003)
  • Eu & Chis with Cris Delanno (Albatroz, 2003)
  • Jazz Zen (Albatroz, 2004)[3]


  1. ^ Roberto Menescal to receive a Latin Grammy 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Neder, Alvaro. "Roberto Menescal". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Roberto Menescal | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 February 2019.