Baden Powell de Aquino was born in Varre-e-Sai in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His father, a scouting enthusiast, named him after Lord Robert Baden-Powell. When he was three, his family relocated to a suburb in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The new surroundings proved profoundly influential. His house was a stop for popular musicians during his formative years. He soon started guitar lessons with Jayme Florence (Meira), a famous choro guitarist, in the 1940s. He proved a young virtuoso, having won many talent competitions before he was a teenager. At age fifteen, he was already playing professionally, accompanying singers and bands in various styles. As a youngster, he was fascinated by swing and jazz, but his main influences were firmly rooted in the Brazilian guitar canon.
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