Airto Moreira made an immediate impact on the American jazz scene by being the first Brazilian percussionist to be playing a lot of different instruments at the same time. He brought them all together with an avant-garde, progressive sensibility, and revolutionized the role of percussion, both in jazz and popular music. After him it was a wave, and he was at the forefront with his work with Miles, Weather Report, and Return to Forever.
Airto Moreira was born in 1941 in the small village of Itaiopolis - south Brasil, and was raised in Curitiba. Even before he could walk he would start shaking and banging on the floor every time the radio played a hot song. By the time he was six years old he had won many music contests by singing and playing percussion. The city gave him his own radio program every Saturday afternoon. At thirteen he became a professional musician, playing percussion, drums, and singing in local dance bands. He moved to Sao Paulo at the age of sixteen and performed regularly in nightclubs and television as a percussionist, drummer and singer.