Tom Zé is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer who was hugely influential in the Tropicália movement of 1960s Brazil. Zé contributed to the watershed Tropicália album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circenses (1968).
After the peak of the Tropicália period, Zé went into relative obscurity: it was only in the 1990s, when the musician and label head David Byrne discovered an album recorded by Zé many years earlier, that he returned to performing and releasing new material. Zé was the first artist signed to the Luaka Bop label.
Because of the experimental nature of many of his compositions, Zé has been compared with American musicians such as Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.