10 March 2016

Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos dies at age 71

Acclaimed Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos has died at age 71.

The eight-time Grammy Award-winner worked over the decades with well-known musicians such as Milton Nascimento.

Vasconcelos died of lung cancer on Wednesday in the northeastern city of Recife where he was born.

He was a master of the single-string percussion instrument known in Portuguese as the berimbao.

The American jazz magazine DownBeat named Vasconcelos percussionist of the year every year from 1983 to 1991.

He started learning music with his musician father and by the time he was 12 he was playing a drum kit, performing at bars with local groups.

Nana rose to national prominence after he moved to Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s and started playing with Nascimento.