Eduardo Nadruz (October 13, 1916 – August 23, 1982) – Edu da Gaita – was born in the city of Jaguarão in the State of Rio Grande do Sul and died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Throughout his life, he was driven by the desire to explore and reveal the full extent of the technical possibilities of the harmonica, still widely regarded as an exotic instrument.
His greatest achievement was the recording of Nicolo Paganini’s "Moto Perpetuo", originally composed for the violin. It took him eleven years of practice to acquire the skill required to play 2400 notes in at most four minutes without any pause whatsoever. In June 1956, he succeeded in playing this piece in three minutes and 21 seconds, becoming the first in history to play it on a wind instrument, and leaving no doubt that the harmonica is a complete musical instrument worthy of respect.
In spite of Edu’s and other musicians’ efforts, among whom Larry Adler deserves especial mention, the harmonica still hasn’t taken its due place in the rank of musical instruments, largely because of the small number of classical music pieces composed for the instrument. Nevertheless, the concertos for harmonica and orquestra composed by Villa-Lobos and Radamés Gnatalli, the former dedicated to John Sebastian and the latter, to Edu, are worth mentioning.
This is the reason why Edu had to make up his own repertoire using compositions originally written for other instruments. If, on one hand, this made things more difficult for him, on the other hand, it proved to be useful in showing what could be played on the harmonica.
Bringing Edu’s accomplishments to public attention contributes not only to the preservation of Brazilian culture but also to show, especially in other countries – where almost nothing is known about his work – the level of technical prowess that may be achieved in playing the harmonica, paving the way for others to succeed him and even surpass him in the future.
More important than anything that may be said about Edu is to listen to his recordings, especially that of Paganini’s Moto Perpetuo, available on this website. Surely, nothing that those who log on to this homepage may have previously heard can equal the sense of grandeur that Edu gave to his instrument.
I would like to put myself at the disposal of any cultural or business entity that may wish to make my father’s work known all over the world, to give guidelines and contribute in any way to the undertaking. After all, my father’s work was more important for the instrument and for music itself than for his personal distinction.
Finally, I would like to point out that the pieces available on this website are only a small part of a selection of Edu da Gaita’s best performances. Original recordings and others made at home using domestic equipment were remasterized using the "sonic solutions" and "Cedar" systems. This is the result of my own personal efforts, being the musician’s only son.