Prolific Brazilian composer and pianist João Donato dies at 88

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Brazilian composer and pianist João Donato accepts the most effective Latin jazz album award on the eleventh Annual Latin Grammy Awards, on Nov. 11, 2010, in Las Vegas. Julie Jacobson/AP disguise caption

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Julie Jacobson/AP

- Prolific Brazilian composer and pianist João Donato dies at 88

Brazilian composer and pianist João Donato accepts the most effective Latin jazz album award on the eleventh Annual Latin Grammy Awards, on Nov. 11, 2010, in Las Vegas.

Julie Jacobson/AP

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian composer and pianist João Donato, who helped lay the groundwork for bossa nova however all through his profession defied confinement to any single style, died Monday. He was 88.

His demise was introduced on his verified Instagram account. Native media reported that he had been hospitalized and intubated with pneumonia.

Donato was prolific and creative, collaborating with prime artists at residence and overseas, together with Chet Baker, João Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Tito Puente, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and numerous others.

“Right this moment we misplaced one in every of our best and most artistic composers,” Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote on Twitter. “João Donato noticed music in every part. He innovated, he handed by samba, bossa nova, jazz, forro and within the combination of rhythm constructed one thing distinctive. He stored creating and innovating till the tip.”

Donato was born within the Amazonian state of Acre on Brazil’s western border, removed from the cultural hubs of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. He confirmed prodigious musical capacity as a boy upon receiving an accordion as a Christmas reward and shortly after his household moved to Rio started enjoying professionally.

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He floated between two rival jazz fan golf equipment, enjoying at each, making contacts and leaving an impression. He started recording with ensembles and his personal compositions.

Amongst his best-known songs have been “A ra” (The Frog), “Bananeira” (Banana Tree) and “Minha Saudade” (My Longing).

At instances he confirmed reluctance to place lyrics to his music. A number of weeks in the past on his Instagram account, he recalled telling Gilberto Gil {that a} melody of his may don’t have any lyrics. “And also you, generously and kindly, mentioned, ‘It does, it does, it does/every part does/it all the time does …’ “

On Monday, Gil recorded a video of himself with a guitar, sharing one other occasion of Donato coming to him with a catchy melody that he had created, however in want of lyrics.

Donato’s syncopation influenced the guitar beat developed by João Gilberto that blossomed into the bossa nova motion. By that point, Donato had set off to play within the U.S., first in Lake Tahoe after which Los Angeles. He spent 13 years residing there, typically returning to Brazil to report bossa nova tracks because the fashion turned a worldwide craze.

However within the U.S. he additionally recorded the album “A Dangerous Donato,” which fused jazz, funk and soul. Knowledgeable by the sounds he heard from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, it was indicative of the eclecticism all through his profession.

Music critic Irineu Franco Perpetuo mentioned Donato’s music usually options “scorching” rhythms inviting one to bop, slightly than bossa nova’s subdued and melancholy sway.

“He was bigger than life, flamboyant, extroverted, so he cannot be put within the bossa nova field. He had a temperament that went past the restrained vibe of bossa nova,” Perpetuo mentioned in a phone interview. “He introduced that exuberant rhythm. He’s vital in bossa nova, however he went past.”

Finally, Donato returned to Rio, and continued collaborating and recording for many years.

“A delicate and distinctive man, creator of his personal fashion with a piano that was completely different than every part I had seen earlier than. Candy, exact and profound,” singer Marisa Monte, who partnered with Donato extra just lately, wrote on Twitter.

Folks passing in entrance of his bayside residence in Rio’s Urca neighborhood, beneath Sugarloaf mountain, may snoop on him enjoying inside. He launched an album final 12 months, and was nonetheless enjoying exhibits earlier this 12 months.

“I am not bossa nova, I am not samba, I am not jazz, I am not rumba, I am not forro. In fact, I am all of that on the identical time,” Donato informed the Rio newspaper O Globo in a 2014 interview.

Donato’s wake shall be held at Rio’s municipal theater.

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