In the early stages of his career, Nascimento played in two samba groups: Evolussamba and Sambacana. In 1963, he moved to Belo Horizonte, where his friendship with Lô Borges led to the Clube da Esquina ("corner club") movement. Members included Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, and Flávio Venturini, with whom he shared compositions and melodies. One composition was "Canção do Sal", which was first interpreted by Elis Regina in 1966 and led to a television appearance with Nascimento. The collective, as well as some others, released Clube da Esquina in 1972. Several hit singles were also released.