From the very start music was his main form of expression and, before composing
all his more than 200 songs, Luiz Henrique also played at parties, bars and other
celebrations. But this was not the only artistic way of externalizing his emotions:
Luiz Henrique was also a very gifted painter.
Luiz Henrique Rosa was born the 25th of November 1938 at Tubarão, in the south
of the State of Santa Catarina. His parents, Raulino and Alice Rosa, lived in
Imbituba, a city that didn't have the necessary support for the delivering of
babies, and that's the reason why Tubarão was chosen. Musically speaking, his skills began to develop with percussion instruments until
he received an acoustical guitar from his father when he was 18, already living in
São José, which became his instrument of choice from then on.
When he was 11 he moved to Florianópolis with his family and studied in the
Colegio Catarinense and at the Instituto Estadual de Educação. That was the city,
Luiz always said, where he felt at home and because of that he was the first to
proudly use the term “manezinho da ilha”, a nickname given to the local
inhabitants that was considered demeaning back then. He was the first urban
When he was 20 he was told by the singer Neide Maria Rosa that the Diário da
Manhã's director wanted to hire him. As easy as that Luiz started to work at the
radio that, by that time, right after its opening, was one the best on the south of
the country. Not long after this he got his own radio show, where he used to play
his own compositions and the hits of the great singers of his day like Pat Boone,
Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Billy Eckstine among several others. His cadenced
style was already a preview of what Bossa Nova would later be, but by then this
genre was only taking its first steps in Rio de Janeiro with Tom Jobim and João
In 1960 the southern pianist Norberto Baldauf invited him to be part of his
musical group, of which the revered Elis Regina was once part as well, just before
her career took off. It was then, with Norberto that Luiz Henrique had his first
music recorded, with the title: “Se o amor é isso” "If that what's love" featuring
Claudio Alvim Barbosa (known as Zininho).
In 1961 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he played at several night clubs, in the
well known Beco das Garrafas, in Copacabana, and also recorded his first album.
A compact with two songs: “Garota da rua da praia” and “Se o amor é isso”, both
EIn1963 he recorded his first LP: “A Bossa Moderna de Luiz Henrique" and reached
the top of the charts all over the country with songs like: ”Sambou, sambou”, “Nobalanço do mar” and “Vou andar por aí”.
In 1965, while the Bossa Nova fever lived its prime in Brazil, Luiz Henrique went to
the United States, following the trend of his time. In New York he met and worked
with several great names of the American music scene such as Stan Getz, Oscar
Brown Jr., Billy Butterfield and Bobby Hacket. And also with lots of Brazilian
On the 9th of July 1985, the year he would complete 25 years of career, Luiz
Henrique died at the age of 46, in a brutal car accident.
musicians like Sivuca, Hermeto Pascoal, Walter Wanderley, João Gilberto, Airton
Moreira. with them Luiz Henrique composed and recorded many musics, in many
LP's. Also during this period that he met the actress and
singer Liza Minelli. Thestrong friendship they had brought the star to Florianópolis in the carnival of1979, invited by Luiz Henrique. The musician remained in the US until December1971, when he returned to his beloved island.
In 1976 he released his last LP: “Mestiço”, with tracks recorded in Rio and in
In 2003 the musician from Santa Catarina Luiz Meira produced the tribute CD “A
Bossa Sempre Nova de Luiz Henrique”, featuring Martinho da Vila, Ivan Lins, Luiz
Melodia, Elza Soares, Sandra de Sá, Tony Garrido and Biá Krieger.
On the 20th of August 2007 the documentary directed by Ieda Beck that tells his whole life “Luiz Henrique no Balanço do Mar” was released. (click to watch it)
In 2015, the tracks recorded back in 1979 gave birth to the album Girassol. (click to listen to it)