Sunday, June 15, 2008
Brazilian samba singer Jose Bispo Clementino dos Santos, better known as Jamelao, has died at the age of 95. His career spanned more than five decades during which he sang in countless carnivals and recorded more than 20 records. With his smooth, melodic voice, Jamelao was a pillar of Mangueira - one of Rio de Janeiro's most traditional and well-known samba schools. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1913, Jamelao began performing at an early age in the percussion section of Mangueira. He moved on to play the cavaquinho - a small, four-stringed guitar central to traditional sambas - and quickly became a singer. He became the official singer at Mangueira carnivals and has toured Europe as a solo performer. On his 90th birthday, Jamelao was asked by a local television station what he most loved about singing. "The music. The music. I love the music," he said. "And the women I can get, too."