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Sivuca, 1972

Severino Dias de Oliveira (26 May 1930 in Itabaiana, Brazil – 14 December 2006 in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil), popularly known as Sivuca, was a Brazilian accordionist and guitarist. In addition to his home state of Paraíba, and cities Recife and Rio de Janeiro, he worked and lived in Paris, Lisbon, and New York City on and off throughout his life. He has two daughters, Flavia de Oliveira Barreto, and Wilma Da Silva. He was an albino.

He is best known internationally for his work with Scandinavian jazz musicians in the 1980s. His most famous songs are the Brazilian popular classic João e Maria with lyrics by Chico Buarque and the accordion standard "Feira de Mangaio" (named after the artisan markets of North East Brazil). He is famous for his use of makeshift instruments playing alongside conventional ones and for his versatility, fusing traditional regional styles such as forró and Chorinho with jazz, bossa, classical, and other musical forms. Sivuca and Hermeto Pascoal, both versatile multi-instrumentalists with albinism, have worked together and are sometimes confused with each other.


His professional career began in Pernambuco where he went at the age of 15, and continued in his first album with Humberto Teixeira (1950), leading to work in radio and television in Rio de Janeiro from 1955. With "Os Brasileiros" he toured Europe (1958).

New York 1964-1976[edit]

He moved to New York City (1964–76) and worked with Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte among others. Archival footage of his work with Makeba can be seen in Mika Kaurismäki's documentary Mama Africa (2011). Makeba included his baião tune "(Adeus) Maria Fulô" on her 1966 album All About Miriam. He recorded with Putte Wickman (P.W. & Sivuca, 1969),


He recorded with Ulf Wakenius's "Guitars Unlimited" (1987) and Sylvia Vrethammar (Rio de Janeiry Blue, 1985; Rendezvois in Rio, 1995). His "Sivuca Brazilian Group" toured Scandinavia in 1990.

Final years[edit]

He was hospitalized on December 12 and died on December 14, 2006, after a two-year struggle with cancer.[1]


  • Motivo para Dançar (1956)
  • Motivo para Dançar Nº 2 - Sivuca e Seu Conjunto (1957)
  • Rendez-vous a Rio (1965)
  • Golden Bossa Nova Guitar (1968)
  • Sivuca (1968)
  • Putte Wickman & Sivuca (1969)
  • Sivuca (1969)
  • Joy - Trilha Sonora do Musical - Oscar Brown Jr. / Jean Pace / Sivuca (1970)
  • Sivuca (1973)[2]
  • Live at the Village Gate (1975)[3]
  • Sivuca e Rosinha de Valença Ao Vivo (1977)
  • Sivuca (1978)
  • Forró e Frevo (1980)
  • Cabelo de Milho (1980)
  • Forró e Frevo Vol. 2 (1982)
  • Vou Vida Afora (1982)
  • Onça Caetana (1983)
  • Forró e Frevo Vol. 3 (1983)
  • Forró e Frevo Vol. 4 (1984)
  • Sivuca & Chiquinho Do Accordion (1984)
  • Som Brasil (1985)
  • Chiko's Bar - Toots Thielemans & Sivuca (1986)
  • Rendez-Vous in Rio Sivuca / Toots Thielemans / Silvia (1986)
  • Aquarela Do Brazil - Ulf Wakenius (1987)
  • Sanfona e Realejo (1987)
  • Let's Vamos - Sivuca & Guitars Unlimited (1987)
  • Um Pé No Asfalto, Um Pé Na Buraqueira (1990)
  • Erik Petersen featuring Sivuca (1992)
  • Pau Doido (1993)
  • Enfim Solo (1997)
  • Cafe Brasil (2001)
  • Cafe Brasil 2 (2002)