Prior to being invited to the United States in 1947 by Stan Kenton, Laurindo Almeida played guitar in Rio de Janeiro where he was known for his classical Spanish guitar playing. He joined Kenton's band during the height of its success in the 1940s, then was employed as a studio musician. In 1953 he recorded, with Bud Shank, two albums called Brazilliance for the World Pacific label. He also recorded with Baden Powell, Stan Getz and Herbie Mann, among others, and recorded for film and television.
From 1974 through 1982 he was a member of the chamber Jazz group The L.A. Four. It was during the 1960s when he enjoyed his greatest recognition, winning several Grammy Awards for his work. In 1961, he won Grammy Awards for Best Engineered Album, Classical and Best Chamber Music Performance. The following year he won Grammy Awards for Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Duo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
In 1965 he won Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Large Group or Soloist with Large Group.
He died on July 26th 1995, aged 77.