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Alceu Valença

Date Born.:

Singer, Composer, Instrumentalist


Alceu Valença

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 14/07/2017

By: Maria do Carmo Gomes de Andrade - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Alceu Paiva Valença, son of lawyer Décio de Souza Valença and Mrs Adelma Paiva Valença, was born on 1 July 1946 in São Bento do Una, a town in the southern ‘Agreste’region of Pernambuco.

At only four years of age, he participated in a singingcontest for children, sponsored by Luiz Jacinto, the postmaster of São Bento do Una at the time, who later would became the well-known television comedian, Colonel Ludugero.

Alceu’staste for the arts was growing, and at the age of nine he was already showinga greater interest in music than in his studies.
In the mid-1950s, Alceuhad gone to live in Recife with his whole family, when he began to attend Fernando Castelão’svariety show on Radio Tamandaré, being taken by opera singer Maria Paraiso.

In 1968, he debuted as a musician in Recife at the show Erosion: The Colour and the Sound. During the so-called “Season of Festivals”, Alceu participated in various events. At the4thInternational Song Festival, held in Rio de Janeiroin 1969, he managed to get two of his songs classified:Acalanto para Isabela(Lullaby for Isabela) andDesafio Linda(Linda’s Challenge).

In 1970, he was ranked second at the3rdUniversity Festival of Brazilian Popular Music, with the songManhã de Clorofila(Chlorophyll Morning), but, due to his irreverence, returned the trophy to the jury. This was also the year he graduated in law fromthe Recife Faculty of Law,although a law career never followed. That same year, he participated in the 5thInternational Song Festival in Rio de Janeiro, with the songs Fiat Lux Baby, Erosão(Erosion) and Desafio Linda.

In 1971, he competed in the 4th University Festival of Brazilian Music, at the João Caetano Theatre in Rio de Janeiro, with the songs Água Clara (Clear Water), 78 Rotações (78 Rotations) andPlanetário(Planetary), which would be part of his first LP (long play, vinyl record), in tandem with Geraldo Azevedo, on theContinental Label.

In 1972, he returned to Recife and was invited by Sérgio Ricardo for the lead role in the movieA Noite do Espantalho(The Night of the Scarecrow), shot in New Jerusalem, Fazenda Nova, Pernambuco. Besides acting, he also participated as a singer on the soundtrack of the film, which was subsequently released on LP by Continental.

In 1974, he presented his show O ovo e a galinha(The Chicken and the Egg), directed by Rodolfo Aureliano andMário Teodósio, at Nosso Teatro(Our Theatre), nowadays the Valdemar de OliveiraTheatre, in Recife. Accompanied by the group Os Diamantes(The Diamonds), Alceu took the show to various cities in the Northeast, with its message: “The old is new and the new is the old.”

The show was seen by the program manager at the time of Northeast RedeGlobo, a fact that facilitated the presentation of Alceu at the TV Globolaunchparty in Rio de Janeiro with the songVou danado pra Catende(I’m Hurrying to Catende). With this,AlceuValença became known throughout Brazil, marking his definitive place in the Brazilian Popular Music scene.

Arespected artist, Alceucontinues singing and having success at full strength. Among his many songs, the following stand out:Tropicana, in partnership with Vicente Barreto; Como dois animais(Like Two Animals);Cinco Sentidos (Five Senses); Coração Bobo (Silly Heart); Estação da Luz (Station of Light); Olinda; Espelho Cristalino (Crystal Mirror); Pelas Ruas que Andei (BytheStreets I Walked); Amor que fica (Love that Stays) and many others.

Recife, 17 April 2007.
Updated on 9 september 2009.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.
Updated on 14 july 2017.

sources consulted

ALCEU Valença [Foto nesse texto]. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 10 out. 2016.

CÂMARA, Renato Phaelante da. MPB Compositores pernambucanos: coletânea bio-músico-fonográfica, 1920-1995. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1997.

MACIEL, Anamelia. Alceu Valença frente e verso. Recife: Edição do Autor, 1989.


how to quote this text

Source: ANDRADE, Maria do Carmo. Alceu Valença. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.