Musicians around the world love Brazilian guitarist and composer Guinga

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Guitarist and composer Guinga is a popular songwriter in Brazil: his songs have been recorded by the likes of superstar Elis Regina and he’s a favorite of musicians around the world like Michel Legrand and Sergio Mendes. But Guinga is less well-known in the U.S. (he rarely comes here to perform), and considering his successful five-decade career, he’s an unusually modest musician.

“I met so many virtuoso players in Brazil and had the opportunity to interact with so many virtuoso guitarists, including one called Hélio Delmiro,” he says. “Everything that I tried to do in life is to play like him. And since I could never achieve it, I ended up playing like Guinga. It was better for me.”

Guinga’s full name is Carlos Althier de Souza Lemos Escobar. He got the name “Guinga” after his aunt took to calling him “Gringo” as a toddler, because he had pale skin. The youngster pronounced it “Guinga,” and the nickname stuck.

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