Zé Carlos began his musical career in 1965, playing guitar in ballrooms in Rio de Janeiro.
Later on, around 1967, he was invited to join the band “Lafayete e seu Conjunto”, where he began playing professionally. The band was tremendously successful, and brought to the spotlight musicians who are currently recognized all over the country.
Subsequent to that, along with musicians, such as Salvador, Rubão Sabino, Oberdan, Darci da Cruz, Luiz Carlos, Nelsinho, and Mariá, he founded the “Grupo Dom Salvador e Abolição,” a band of black musicians with whom he recorded the famous album “Som, Sangue e Raça,” [Sound, Blood and Race,] a pioneer effort blending the samba rhythm with funk and soul music. This band marked the beginning of the “Black Rio movement,” a pillar of the Rio de Janeiro’s funk music trend.