Joao Donato. 1934-2023

The man who gave us immortal songs like “A Rã”, “Lugar Comun”, “Café Com Pão”, or the unforgettable “E Menina”, has died yesterday. He was 88. Rest In Peace and Power Joao Donato. He wrote “Minha Saudade” with João Gilberto, was musical director for Gal Costa, recorded with lots of jazz greats like Ron Carter, Cal Tjader, or Bud Shank, and recorded dozens of albums under his own name. I had the big honor and pleasure of interviewing Joao in Montreux in the late 90s. What I still remember is the pure joy and fascination he radiated when talking about music. Not only his own music, but music in general. He exuded a wonderful humor on and off stage. His electric piano playing was full of little wonders and twists and turns.

Joao Donato

He wrote beautiful pieces like “Amazonas”. He also collaborated with various singers: in 2000, he joined Joyce Moreno on her album “Tudo Bonito” and then again in 2009 on “Aquarius”, and in 2010 he recorded “Água” with Paula Morelenbaum. And there is so much more to explore: the vibrant MPB/Bossa Nova album “Os Bossa” with Marcos Valle, Roberto Menescal, and Carlos Lyra for example. Or his foray onto the dancefloor with the 2017 album “Sintetizamor”.

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