Luthier Lineu Bravo and the art of building ‘cavaquinhos’

Guitar making is not Luthier Lineu Bravo’s only art. Another instrument that he makes with a lot of joy is the ‘cavaquinho’. The process is similar; however, it takes some special care because of the small pieces of the instrument. The luthier has to pay close attention to the details so that he can reach the perfect balance.

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The ‘cavaquinho’ has a special meaning to the luthier: “I really appreciate this instrument since it was the first one that I started playing when I was 10 and also the first one that I made when I was a teenager”, explains the luthier.

The construction of cavaquinho was a milestone in the luthier’s career, who asserts the importance of this experience: “The first instrument that I built was the cavaquinho. I used to play it so I ended up building other cavaquinhos. I used to make it as a hobby, and that’s how I got familiar with this art.”

For the luthier, building cavaquinhos was a big learning: “The cavaquinho is smaller and has a smaller speaker sound, so it demands much more attention to reach the balance and the perfection I need. You have to be much more careful when building cavaquinhos, that’s why it is easier to make bigger instruments”, explains Lineu.

Lineu Bravo admits how hard it is to obtain the perfect tuning on an instrument like this: “The cavaquinho is much more delicate, so it is harder to build it with a perfect tuning.”

When you master the art of making cavaquinhos, you master the art of building all the others: “When I found out the secret of how to have the perfect tuning on the cavaquinho, it became easier to build other instruments”.

About Lineu Bravo

Lineu Bravo is an autodidact luthier and fond of good music. From an early age he developed intimacy with wood at his father workshop. He built his first instrument when he was 14. Since then, his guitars, ‘cavacos’, mandolins and ‘violas’ have been purchased by respected musicians. Guinga, Marcus Tardelli, Zélia Duncan, Marco Pereira, João Bosco, Yamandú Costa, Chico Buarque, Ulisses Rocha, Hamilton de Holanda, Ângela Muner, Rogério Caetano, Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello, João Lyra, Maurício Marques, Edson Lopes, Alessandro Penezzi, Juarez Moreira, Fernando César, Jayme Vignoli, Flávio Apro, Giacomo Bartoloni, Swami Jr, Rosa Passos, Ana Carolina, Zé Paulo Becker, and Douglas Lora are some of them.

A customized guitar for a famous singer and a piece of art on display at a hotel chain: projects in partnership

Luthier Lineu Bravo has got a piece of art with his portrait, made by his friend Felipe Rezende, a talented visual artist that tries to express people’s emotion when painting them. Lineu’s portrait was created after a photo session that they made together: “I gave it to him as a gift, on a piece of wood, which is the substance of his work”, says Felipe.

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

This piece of art with Lineu’s face is also on display at a famous hotel chain. Felipe started a partnership with “Hotel Ibis” in 2016, when he took part in a revitalization project in Taubaté, São Paulo, with two other professionals: architect Carol Miranda and a furniture restorer. On the occasion, the visual artist developed the wall painting there.

After this project, Felipe received an invitation to work in another hotel named “Ibis Styles”, in São Paulo. Felipe chose his friends’ portraits, such as Lineu Bravo piece of art, to put on the toilet doors of the hotel.

Lineu Bravo at Hotel Ibis, in São Paulo

Lineu Bravo at Hotel Ibis, in São Paulo

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

Felipe Rezende masterpiece

The visual artist Felipe Rezende

The visual artist Felipe Rezende

Felipe Rezende, Lineu Bravo and Zélia Duncan Guitar

Luthier and visual artist thinking together: Lineu Bravo and Felipe Rezende conceived a project to customize musical instruments for artists, such as Brazilian singer Zélia Duncan. The idea and the art for Zélia’s guitar were created by the luthier and the visual artist in 2015 and 2016.

Felipe Rezende said that the partnership with Lineu started when they got closed thanks to a graphite that he had painted at Lineu’s house. “We ended up becoming friends and one day he told me about this idea of customizing some instruments for artists”.

They worked for 6 months and, during this period, they thought about theme, image, concept, and researched a lot of facts about Zélia’s life. The artist tells how the process was: “We have found out that she was a Joni Mitchell fan, so we started the production: Me, at my atelier, and Lineu at his workshop. He handed me the guitar so I could draw and write poetry excerpts inside the box. When he finished the guitar, he gave it to me so I could paint outside, too. I painted Joni Mitchell portrait on the front side and decided to paint Zélia’s image on the back side, because I had found a beautiful picture of her in which she seems to hold a guitar as a gift. After that, Lineu finished the instrument with a varnish layer and gave me the case, so I splashed it with ink.”. In October 2016, Lineu Bravo went to Zélia’s concert and gave her the gift.

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On the front side of the instrument, Felipe painted Joni Mitchell image, a Canadian singer and visual artist:

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On the back side, there is a Zelia Duncan painting also made by the artist:

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Pictures: Pedro Ivo Prates

Felipe Rezende, (ifi)

Felipe is an architect and also teaches at a Brazilian University named “Anhanguera”, in Taubaté, city of São Paulo. He is also a researcher at University of Taubaté.

Felipe gives cultural workshops at schools and owns a workshop named “Casa Oficina”, in Taubaté, where he lives and develops his visual art projects.

The artist expresses his ideas through words, painting, walls, tissues, ground and canvas.

About Zelia Duncan

Zélia Duncan is a phenomenon as a high-selling singer/composer and has sold 160,000 copies of her Zélia Duncan album. Since 1994, she has been a major national success, touring through countries of Europe in 1996 and also winning awards from critics in Brazil.

About Lineu Bravo

Lineu Bravo is an autodidact luthier and fond of good music. From an early age he developed intimacy with wood at his father workshop. He built his first instrument when he was 14. Since then, his guitars, ‘cavacos’, mandolins and ‘violas’ have been purchased by respected musicians. Guinga, Marcus Tardelli, Marco Pereira, João Bosco, Yamandú Costa, Chico Buarque, Ulisses Rocha, Hamilton de Holanda, Ângela Muner, Rogério Caetano, Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello, João Lyra, Maurício Marques, Edson Lopes, Alessandro Penezzi, Juarez Moreira, Fernando César, Jayme Vignoli, Flávio Apro, Giacomo Bartoloni, Swami Jr, Rosa Passos, Ana Carolina, Zé Paulo Becker, and Douglas Lora are some of them.

- Lineu Bravo Luthier Facebook Page

- Felipe Rezende Facebook Page

- Felipe Rezende Oficial Website

- Felipe Rezende Instagram