A full-time bassist for A Cor do Som, Os Novos Baianos, Barão Vermelho, Caetano Veloso, and Marisa Monte, as a session musician Dadi also recorded for Mick Jagger, Elba Ramalho, Chico Buarque, Moraes Moreira, and MPB-4, among many others. Caetano Veloso dedicated to him the suggestive "Leãozinho." Dadi, a self-taught musician, started to play the guitar and the electric bass at 13. A little later, with friends he formed the amateur band the Goofies, which played parties in the neighborhood. At 18 he became a professional as bassist for the Os Novos Baianos, from 1970 to 1975.