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Ricardo Silveira was born in Rio de Janeiro, where he was exposed to the varied musical styles of his native country. He found inspiration in bossa nova, samba, and carnival, as well as the music of Baden Powell and Jimi Hendrix among others. He left Brazil after high school to attend the Berklee College of Music. He used his training to move to New York City, where he began to play with Herbie Mann among others. He eventually made his way back to Brazil, becoming one of the most sought-after studio musicians in the country. He recorded hundreds of projects upon his return, working with some of the biggest names in Brazilian jazz. His most notable collaborations have been with Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento, since they have frequently requested his presence on their recordings. His solo recordings also became quite popular among fans of the Brazilian jazz scene, as he began to explore his own music starting in the mid-'80s and continuing into the '90s.