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CLASSICAL GUITARIST LAURINDO ALMEIDA DIES AT AGE 77

Laurindo Almeida, whose classical compositions won him five Grammys and who was hailed as one of Brazil's greatest guitarists, has died of cancer at age 77.

Almeida, who moved to the United States nearly 40 years ago, helped popularize music's bosa nova style, which combines Brazilian music with jazz.He also played with jazz greats Stan Kenton and Herbie Mann, toured with the Modern Jazz Quartet and worked on the scores of many popular movies, including "The Godfather."

He died Wednesday, Valley Presbyterian Hospital reported.

Almeida won Grammys for the classical compositions "Spanish Guitars of Laurindo Almeida" and "Conversations with the Guitar," in 1961, "Reverie for Spanish Guitars" and "Discantus," in 1962 and "Guitar from Ipanema," in 1965.

He became famous for the bosa nova style when his "Viva Bosa Nova" album rose to No. 13 on the U.S. music charts in 1962.

He joined the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1963 and toured throughout Europe with the group the following year.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Almeida frequently performed classical music concerts, often with his wife, soprano Deltra Eamon.

He also worked on the scores for "A Star Is Born," "The Godfather" and "Goya."

Last December he donated his personal library of original scores, compositions and arrangements to the guitar music archive at California State University, Northridge.

He had recently completed a new recording, "The Naked Sea," featuring duet arrangements with harmonica artist Danny Welton.

He is survived by his wife and two children.