The beloved artist passed away on Wednesday (09Mar16) in his hometown of Recife following a battle with lung cancer.

Vasconcelos was considered a master of the berimbao, a single-string percussion instrument from Brazil.

Taking after his musician father, Vasconcelos started playing at bars with local groups in town, but in the 1960s, he rose to national stardom after moving to Rio de Janeiro and playing with singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento.

Over the course of his four decades in the music industry, Vasconcelos worked with greats such as Paul Simon, B.B. King, Jan Garbarek, Debbie Harry, Chaka Khan, and Sergio Mendes, among many others.

Vasconcelos was an eight-time Grammy Award winner and American jazz magazine DownBeat named him percussionist of the year every year from 1983 to 1991.