No. 45 — Pages 230-231: Bené Nunes

Brazilliance No. 45 - Pages 230-231

  • Bené Nunes — Bené Nunes e Seu Piano
    (1958) Continental LPP 3042


This is the final double-page spread from the book. It ends the main chapter of Brazilliance – Record Covers of Brazil 1952-1977, showing full-page galleries of art work. Moreover, this is the final article presenting selected pages from the book with featured artists and their music. However, Brazilliance will continue with a new emphasis.

Benedito Francisco José da Penha Nunes (1920-1997), simply known as Bené Nunes, began studying the piano at the age of four. After taking lessons just for six months, he went on as an autodidact, enjoying an enduring career spanning almost six decades.

At the age of seven, Bené Nunes appeared in a children’s show at Rádio Cajuti which earned him his first employment contract. In 1945, after some years of traveling the nightclub circuit, he joined Djalma Ferreira’s band Os Milionários do Ritmo for appearances at the prestigious Hotel Quitandinha in Petrópolis. The next year, Bené Nunes debuted on the silver screen in A Mãe, which was followed by more than a dozen movie appearances until the late sixties. In 1951, he had his recording debut with the self-penned single Moleque Tumba b/w Gostosinho.

During the fifties, his successful 32-piece orchestra included the then unknown composer and guitarist Carlos Lyra. Bené Nunes was the favourite pianist of President Juscelino Kubistchek, who often invited him to play at soirees. In 1958, the album Bené Nunes e Seu Piano, arranged by Radamés Gnattali, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Severino Filho, became his album debut, followed by only two more in 1959 and 1965.

Bené Nunes was married to singer Dulce Nunes, and together they were the first to regularly host get-togethers with musicians of the bossa nova movement. Their appartment became a sought-after salon on Thursdays, especially on one occasion in December 1959, when they gathered the likes of João Gilberto, Luiz Eça, Sylvia Telles, Luiz Bonfá, Oscar Castro Neves, Ronaldo Boscoli, Roberto Menescal, Alaíde Costa, Pacífico Mascarenhas, Antônio Carlos Jobim and others to meet reporters of O Cruzeiro, a very influencial magazine. The result was the most extensive coverage of the emerging bossa nova in the press by then.

Playlist Bené Nunes:
1. Solfeggietto de Bach (Carl Philip Emanuel Bach – adapted by Bené Nunes) from the album Teclado Fantástico (1965)
2. Hô-bá-lá-lá (João Gilberto) from the album Bené Nunes e Seu Piano (1958)
3. Stella by Starlight (Ned Washington – Victor Young) from the album Teclado Fantástico (1965)
4. Lamento no Morro (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) from the album Bené Nunes e Seu Piano (1958)

The art work for Bené Nunes e Seu Piano, exposing an impressive baroque piano, is unidentified.

Bené Nunes — Bené Nunes e Seu Piano


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