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Eumir Deodato de Almeida (Brazilian Portuguese: [ẽʊ̃ˈmiχ djoˈdatu]; born June 22, 1942) is a Brazilian pianist, composer, arranger, and record producer, primarily in jazz but who has been known for his eclectic melding of genres, such as pop, rock, disco, rhythm and blues, classical, Latin and bossa nova.[1]

Eumir Deodato
Eumir Deodato 1970.jpg
Eumir Deodato in Venice c. 1970
Background information
Birth nameEumir Deodato de Almeida
Also known asDeodato
Born (1942-06-22) 22 June 1942 (age 77)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
GenresPop, rock, R&B, Brazilian jazz, Latin
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, record producer
Years active1959–present
LabelsCTI, MCA, Warner Bros.
Associated actsKool & the Gang, John Tropea, Hubert Laws

Deodato has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)". His 500+ works as a producer and arranger includes Kool & the Gang's hits "Celebration", "Ladies' Night", and "Too Hot".[2]


Deodato began his musical life on accordion when he was twelve years old, then piano two years later. He studied orchestration, conducting, and arranging. He played bossa nova in bands with Durval Ferreira and Roberto Menescal, then formed his own band with Menescal in 1962.[1]


Recording careerEdit

Deodato often plays the Fender Rhodes electric piano. His success as a keyboard player occurred mainly in the 1970s. Since then, he has produced and arranged music on more than 500 albums for artists such as Kool and the Gang, Con Funk Shun, Björk, Christophe, and k.d. lang. Guitarist John Tropea and flautist Hubert Laws appeared on his early albums.

Prelude, his first album in the U.S., was released in 1973.[3] This album was crossover music style that attracted a large audience and was produced by Creed Taylor for his label, CTI. The album sold five million copies and earned Deodato the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the track Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001), as well as a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.[1]

His second album, Deodato 2, reached number 19 on the Billboard album chart, while the single "Rhapsody in Blue" reached No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973[4]. His interpretation of Pavane pour une infante défunte ("Pavane for a Dead Princess") by Maurice Ravel was used in the 1970s by an Australian television station as background music.

His 1979 single "Night Cruiser", from the album of the same name, earned him a third Grammy nomination, for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.[5] Deodato continued recording through the 1980s. In 1985, he had two hits, "S.O.S., Fire in the Sky" and "Are You For Real", on the Billboard magazine Top 20 Dance chart.

He recorded Live in Rio in 2007. In 2011, he released the album The Crossing, which he produced with Lino Nicolosi and Pino Nicolosi at Nicolosi Productions, with guest vocalist Al Jarreau.

Arranging and producingEdit

Since the 1960s, Deodato has been in demand as a producer and arranger. He has worked on more than 500 albums, and fifteen have reached platinum status as defined by the RIAA.

In the early 1960s, he worked as a freelance arranger for Odeon Records. He wrote arrangements for Wilson Simonal, Marcos Valle, and for his debut album, Inútil Paisagem (1964),[1] which was dedicated to the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim and recorded in Rio when Deodato was twenty-two. Jobim praised him in the album's liner notes. Deodato played piano alongside guitarists Oscar Castro-Neves and Roberto Menescal.[6] He has been credited for helping to start the career of Milton Nascimento. He was part of a committee tasked with choosing songs for a festival, and Deodato chose three by Nascimento.[1]

He moved to New York City in 1967 to work with guitarist Luiz Bonfá and vocalist Astrud Gilberto. He met record producer Creed Taylor, who hired him to write arrangements for musicians at CTI Records. This included Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Paul Desmond.[1] Deodato worked with Joao Donato(1970), Youg, Holt Unlimited(1973) and Luiz Bonfá(1973) also. He had other collaborations including producing Kool and the Gang from late 70s to early 80s, the first solo album by Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners in 1988, and arranging Bjork's albums Post, Telegram, and Homogenic. For his Love Island album, Deodato co-wrote the song "Tahiti Hut" with Maurice White. "Tahiti Hut", with lyrics written for it afterwards, was recorded by the band Switch (band) with guest vocals by Jermaine Jackson.

Deodato wrote scores for the films The Gentle Rain (1966), The Black Pearl (1977), and The Onion Field (1979), and Bossa Nova (2000)

Personal lifeEdit

His daughter, Kennya Deodato, is married to actor Stephen Baldwin.[7] And his granddaughter, Hailey Baldwin, is married to Canadian singer Justin Bieber.[8]


  • 1964 Inutil Paisagem (Forma)
  • 1964 Samba Nova Concepcao
  • 1964 Ideias (Odeon)
  • 1965 Ataque
  • 1965 The Gentle Rain (Mercury)
  • 1965 Bossa Nova for Swingin' Lovers
  • 1970 Os Catedráticos
  • 1972 Percepção (London)
  • 1973 Prelude (CTI)[3]
  • 1973 Donato/Deodato with João Donato (Muse)
  • 1973 Deodato 2 (CTI)
  • 1973 Os Catedráticos 73
  • 1973 Deodato/Airto in Concert (CTI)
  • 1974 Whirlwinds (MCA)
  • 1974 Artistry (MCA)
  • 1975 First Cuckoo (MCA)
  • 1975 Love, Strings, and Jobim (Warner Bros.)
  • 1975 Remolinos
  • 1976 Impulso!
  • 1976 Daybreak
  • 1976 Arranjo e Regência Vol. 2
  • 1976 Arranjo e Regência Vol. 3
  • 1976 Very Together (MCA)
  • 1977 Il Concierto di Aranjuez
  • 1977 2001 (Renamed reissue of Prelude) (CTI)
  • 1978 Love Island (Warner Bros.)
  • 1978 Meditazioni Trumpet in Classic
  • 1978 Noches De Blanco Satén
  • 1979 Knights of Fantasy (Warner Bros.)
  • 1980 Night Cruiser (Warner Bros.)
  • 1982 Happy Hour (Warner Bros.)
  • 1984 Motion (Warner Bros.)
  • 1989 Somewhere Out There (Warner Bros)
  • 2002 Lounge '64
  • 2009 Live from Rio (DRG)[9]
  • 2010 The Crossing (Nicolosi Productions)


  • "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)"/"Spirit of Summer" – US Number 2,[10] UK Number 7[11]
  • "Rhapsody in Blue"/"Super Strut"
  • "Do It Again" (live)/"Branches" (live) (B-Side is by Airto)
  • "Moonlight Serenade"/"Havana Strut"
  • "Theme from Peter Gunn"/"Amani"
  • "Watusi Strut"/"Watusi Strut" (disco version)
  • "Uncle Funk"/"Whistle Stop"
  • "S.O.S. Fire in the Sky"/"East Side Strut" (1984)
  • "Double Face (feat. Al Jarreau)" Nicolosi Productions

As sideman or arrangerEdit

With Luiz Bonfá

With Ray Bryant

  • MCMLXX (Atlantic, 1970) – string arrangements

With Paul Desmond

With Michael Franks

With Astrud Gilberto

With Antônio Carlos Jobim

With Vanessa da Mata

  • Vanessa da Mata canta Tom Jobim (Sony/BMG Brazil, 9 July 2013) – arrangements and keyboards

With Milton Nascimento

With Titãs

  • Volume Dois (WEA/Warner Music Group, 1998) – string and horn arrangements in two tracks ("Eu e Ela" and "Miséria")

With Walter Wanderley


  1. ^ a b c d e f Neder, Alvaro. "Deodato". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ Hanson, Amy. "Ladies' Night". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b Desouteiro, Arnaldo (30 September 2013). "40 Years of Eumir Deodato's iconic "Prelude"". Jazz Station. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "GRAMMY Award Results for Eumir Deodato". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  6. ^ Neder, Alvaro. "Inutil Paisagem". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  7. ^ Faber, Judy (5 September 2006). "Stephen Baldwin: Born Again". CBS News. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Justin Bieber confirms he is a 'married man'". CNN.
  9. ^ "Deodato | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  10. ^ Feldman, Christopher (2000). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 151. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). Billboard Book of Number 2 Singles. Watson-Guptill. p. 136. ISBN 9780823076956.

External linksEdit