Meticulous artist who developed his style by studying and exploring a wide field of musicians and genres. He was especially inspired by the Amazon Indians' batuque, the Carioca samba and choro, and the Northeastern frevo, baião, and forró.
He studied classical music for 15 years, then relocated to Paris so he could learn orchestration and analysis from composer Jean Barraqué and Nadia Boulanger.
He focused for two years on learning different types of guitars, experimenting with tunings and new sounds.
He was born into a musical family. His grandfather and his Uncle Edgar were both bandleaders.
He admired Maurice Ravel's orchestration techniques and chord voicings.