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Zequinha de Abreu was born in Santa Rita do Passa-Quatro in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. He was extremely gifted in the genre of Brazilian popular songs, among which is the world famous chorinho Tico-tico no Fubá. "Tico-tico" is translated as "crown sparrow" and "no fubá" means "in the corn-meal." Another very famous piece is Sururú na Cidade ("mollusk in the city"). His great facility for composing was the fruit of his sensitivity, talent and amiable personality. From a very young age Abreu showed an inclination for music, and began playing the flute at six years of age. At eight he was playing in a band. After piano lessons with secondary school teachers in the Colégio São Luiz in Itu, Abreu came back to Santa Rita do Passa-Quatro, and eventually he opened a pharmacy. He soon renewed is musical activities by leading an orchestra that performed at dances in the city and for silent films at the "Smart" cinema. In 1919 he moved to São Paulo pemanently where he worked as a professional pianist. He died suddenly of a heart attack on January 22, 1935, leaving behind his wife and eight children.

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