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Chico César

Date Born.:

Singer, Composer, Journalist


Chico César

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 24/01/2018

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

César Gonçalves, singer, songwriter and journalist was born on January 26, 1964, in the municipality of Catolé do Rocha in Paraiba, situated 450 km from the capital João Pessoa. Chico César, as he is known, is the youngest of seven children by Mrs. Etelvina and Mr. Francisco Gonçalves.

He studied at the Francisca Mendes College, that was run by Nuns until he completed the Secondary School. Accustomed to listen to singers and reisados ​​since childhood, he soon created its own group called Super Som Mirim.

While very young and still in Catolé do Rocha, Chico worked as a salesman at the Lunik record store, which gave him the opportunity to know the work of singers of various musical genres, for as well as selling, he could hear the records by Chico Buarque Jackson do Pandeiro, Marinês e sua Gente, Caetano Veloso, Pixinguinha Altamiro Carilho, Rolling Stones, Luiz Gonzaga, Roberto Carlos and other singers of regional, national and international fame.

Around the age of seventeen, Chico moved to João Pessoa, capital city of Paraíba. There he joined the School of Journalism at the Federal University of Paraíba. During the course he participated in Jaguaribe Carne, an avant-garde group that emerged in 1974 with the purpose to study, disseminate, practice, experience, exchange ideas and make exchanges with artists from the city of João Pessoa and throughout the state of Paraíba.

At 21 years of age and having already completed the School of Journalism, Chico went to São Paulo where he worked as a journalist and reviewer of texts, but he did not lose sight of his artistic career. He studied to improve on the guitar and composed many songs that enchanted the audience that he was gaining slowly. He befriended avant-garde artists in the Brazilian scene as Itamar Assunção and Arrigo Barnabé.

In the 1990s, through the indication of a friend who worked in the Germany - Brazil Cultural Association, he performed a few shows in Germany, a fact that eventually earned him, for the first time, visibility in the Brazilian media. Encouraged by the success he obtained, he left journalism and decided to devote himself entirely to music. He then formed the Banda Cuscuz Clã, with whom he began performing in the Blen Blen Clube, a nightclub in Sao Paulo.

The shows in Germany sprouted more fruit and gave rise to his first album called Aos vivos, recorded live in São Paulo in 1994, and released by the Velas lable in 1995. The album led Chico to success with the songs: Mama Africa which soon began to be played by Radio Mundial FM and A primeira vista which became a national success in the voice of Daniela Mercury, and was included in the soundtrack of the soap opera O Rei do Gado by the Globo TV Network.

Chico César finally had his name recognized in the national art scene, resulting in many shows and record sales. In 1996, with the release of the album Cuscuz Clã recorded by Polygram, he won the Sharp Music Award in the category of revelation singer, the APCA Award (São Paulo Association of Art Critics), in the category of best composer, and Video Music Brazil (VMB - MTV) Award, in the category of best MPB music video for Mama Africa. In 1997, he won the best song Press Trophy (Troféu Imprensa) for A Primeira Vista.

Also in 1997, after a tour of Europe and Japan, He released his third album called Beleza mano with special participations by Dominguinhos, Arnaldo Antunes, Arrigo Barnabé and others. His compositions blend rhythms like carimbó, folia and forró with pop music, reggae, salsa and juju music.

In 2000, he won the Panamco Award for best soundtrack for the children’s spectacle Amídalas. In 2001, the Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Performance was awarded to Sting (English musician and singer) for his interpretation of the song Soberana Rosa (She walks this Earth) composed by Chico Cesar, Ivan Lins and Victor Martins.

In 2003, he founded his own music label, Chitas, which released albums by artists such as André Cibelli Abujamra.

In 2009, Chico César managed the Fundação Cultural da Cidade de João Pessoa and continuing his experience as a manager, since 2010 he holds the position of Secretary of Culture of Paraíba.


Recife, 24 November 2011.
Updated 24 january 2018.




sources consulted

CHICO César. Available at: <>. Accessed: 11 nov. 2011.

CHICO César. Available at: <>. Accessed: 14 nov. 2011.

CHICO Cesar  [photo in this text]. Available at : <>. Accessed: 2 Jan. 2014.

ENCICLOPEDIA da Música Brasileira – Popular. Uma obra com os grandes nomes e as principais composições do gênero. São Paulo: Editora Publifolha, [200--?]. Available at: <>. Accessed 16 November. 2011.


how to quote this text

Source: ANDRADE, Maria do Carmo. Chico César. Pesquisa Escolar Oline,Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at: <>. Accessed at: day month year. Exemple.: 9 August. 2009.