Paulinho da Costa

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Paulinho da Costa
Background information
Birth name Paulo Roberto da Costa
Born (1948-05-31) May 31, 1948 (age 66)
Río de Janeiro
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Percussion, conga, bongos, pandeiro
Years active 1963–present
Labels A&M, Concord, Pablo

Paulinho da Costa (Portuguese pronunciation: [pawˈliɲu da ˈkɔʃtɐ], born Paulo Roberto da Costa on May 31, 1948) is a Brazilian percussionist born in Rio de Janeiro, considered one of the most recorded musicians of modern times. He has participated in thousands of albums, with Down Beat magazine naming him "one of the most talented percussionists of our time."[1] He was an artist on Michael Jackson’s Grammy Award-winning Thriller, Madonna's True Blue, Celine Dion’s Let's Talk About Love, hit singles and movie soundtracks, including Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing and Purple Rain and others. He plays over 200 instruments professionally, and has worked in a variety of music genres including Brazilian, blues, Christian, country, disco, gospel, hip hop, jazz, Latin, pop, rhythm and blues, rock, soul, and world music. He was signed to Norman Granz’s Pablo Records for three of his solo albums, Agora, Happy People and Sunrise, as well as Breakdown on A&M Records.

Early life and career[edit]

Da Costa was born in Irajá, Brazil, and as a child began learning the pandeiro. He began performing in the samba parades in Rio de Janeiro and later joined the youth wing of Portela’s Bateria, the rhythm section of a samba school. He became one of the most internationally-known percussionist to emerge from the Samba Schools of Brazil (Escola de Samba).[2][3]

As a teen, da Costa traveled extensively with samba trios and quartets, Brazilian ensembles and Carnaval orchestras. His association with these groups offered him the opportunity to participate in music festivals around the world, in a troupe led by Jorge Goulart and Nora Ney.[4]

Da Costa further developed his musical ability after being exposed to jazz and Cuban music and expanded the range percussion instruments he could play. He later toured Europe and the Middle East with a Brazilian ensemble together with Waldir Maia e Alcione in 1970.[5] In 1972, Paulinho participated in the Festival International da Canção in the Maracanãzinho, performing the song Fio Maravilha, written about the soccer player of the same name, with Maria Alcina.

In 1972, da Costa moved to the US and played with Sergio Mendes from 1973 until 1976. He was introduced to Norman Granz by Dizzie Gillespie and was signed to Granz' label, Pablo Records. Da Costa’s association with Granz and Pablo Records made it possible for him to receive permanent resident status in the US.[2][6]

Da Costa toured with his band and performed at Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1977.[7] In addition to working with numerous recording artists, Paulinho continues to be an important influence to scores of music aficionados, musicians and percussionists.


Da Costa worked with jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie on his albums Free Ride, Dizzy's Party and Bahiana.[8][9][10] He also played on Earth, Wind and Fire albums, including: All 'N All, I Am, Faces, Raise!, Powerlight, Millenniumand In the Name of Love.[11][12][13][14][15][16] Producer Quincy Jones and da Costa have also worked together on many projects, including the soundtracks for The Wiz, as well as Jones' albums The Dude, Basie & Beyond, Back on the Block, Q's Jook Joint and From Q with Love.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23] He also performs on albums produced by Jones, including The Brothers Johnson’s Light Up The Night, George Benson’s Give me the Night, Donna Summer’s Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand's Till I Loved You and USA for Africa’s We Are the World.[24][25][26][27][28] He worked on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I and Invincible.[29][30][31][32][33]

Da Costa also appears in the film The Color Purple as an African musician.[34]


He has recorded with the following artists:[35]


10,000 Maniacs,


Aaliyah, Al Jarreau, Mindi Abair, Paula Abdul, Alex Acuña, Air Supply, Akiko, Akira Asakura, Gerald Albright, Herb Alpert, Jojo Alves, Amanda, America, Tori Amos, Ananda, Ernestine Anderson, Maxi Anderson, Paul Anka, Thomas Anders, Jon Anderson, Anri, Nathalie Archangel, David Arnold, Art of Noise, The Association, A Taste of Honey, Chet Atkins, Atlantic Starr, Audio Caviar, Patti Austin, Average White Band Roy Ayers,


Burt Bacharach, Lisa Bade, Joan Baez, Phillip Bailey, Anita Baker, The Bangles, Gato Barbieri, Steve Barta, Shirley Bassey, Keola Beamer, Beat Disciples, Walter Becker, Chris Beckers, Regina Belle, Jorge Ben, John Benitez, David Benoit, George Benson, Matraca Berg, Maria Bethania, Stephen Bishop, Simone, The Blackbirds[disambiguation needed], Rubén Blades, Terence Blanchard, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, Hanne Boel, Angela Bofill, Michael Bolton, João Bosco, Chris Botti, Boys Club, Brainstom, Laura Branigan, Rick Braun, Breakfast Club, Michael Brecker, The Bridge, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Robert Brookins, Elkie Brooks, Patti Brooks, Norman Brown, Sheree Brown, Peabo Bryson, Michael Bublé, Nino Buonocore, Jonathan Butler, Joseph Leo Bwarie, By All Means


Cachao, Captain & Tennille, Irene Cara, Belinda Carlisle, Roberto Carlos, Larry Carlton, Milly Carlucci, Eric Carmen, Pauli Carman, The Carpenters, Casiopea, Oscar Castro-Neves, Dori Caymmi, Cerrone, Peter Cetera, Alain Chamfort, Champaign, Steven Curtis Chapman, Tracy Chapman, Ray Charles, Charo, Chayanne, Cher, Chicago, Cinderella, Chuck Cissel, Eric Clapton, Stanley Clarke, Rosemary Clooney, Riccardo Cocciante, Cock Robin, Joe Cocker, Adam Cohen, Pat Coil, Gardner Cole, Natalie Cole, Durell Coleman, Phil Collins, Michel Colombier, Commodores, Norman Connors, Harry Connick, Jr., Rita Coolidge, Alice Cooper, Stewart Copland, Bill Cosby, Elvis Costello, Randy Crawford, Christopher Cross, Andraé Crouch, The Crusaders, Cruzados, Mara Cubeddu, Bill Cunliffe, Catie Curtis,


Juanita Dailey, Dakota Moon, Clark Datchler, Martha Davis, Miles Davis, DeBarge, Ilse DeLange, Marlene de la Peña, Delilah, De Novo, John Denver, Destiny's Child, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Djavan, D-Knowledge', Dog's Eye View, Dov, Will Downing, Lamont Dozier, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, Robi Draco Rosa, Tim Draxl, George Duke, Matt Dusk, Bob Dylan,


Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Babyface, El Tri, Eliane Elias, Yvonne Elliman, Emmanuel, Emotions, Joy Enriquez, Eva Santa Maria,


The 5th Dimension, Agnetha Fältskog, Don Felder, Wilton Felder, José Feliciano, Rachelle Ferrell, Bryan Ferry, Elisa Fiorillo, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Ronnie Foster, For Real, Alberto Fortis, David Foster, Aretha Franklin, Rodney Franklin, Michael Franks, Chico Freeman, Four Tops, Fra Lippo Lippi, Fuse One


Kenny G, Rosie Gaines, Bruce Gaitsch, The Gap Band, Melody Gardot, Gloria Gaynor, Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Johnny Gill, Dizzy Gillespie, Goldstar, Benny Golson, John Goodsall, Dana Glover, Larry Graham, Amy Grant, Tom Grant, Harry Gregson-Williams, Grimaldi, Euge Groove


Lani Hall, Albert Hammond, Herbie Hancock, Everette Harp, Sam Harris, Tramaine Hawkins Robert Hazard, Harves, Heatwave, Finis Henderson, Howard Hewett, Dan Hill, Warren Hill, Windham Hill, Hiroko, Hiroshima, Jay Hoggard, Jennifer Holliday, Stix Hooper, Paul Horn, Whitney Houston, George Howard, Freddie Hubbard, Debra Hurd, Craig Huxley, Phyllis Hyman,


Janis Ian, Imperial, Indigo Girls, Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Julio Iglesias, Jr., James Ingram, The Isley Brothers, Ronald Isley, In Vitro


Paul Jabara, Jacintha, The Jacksons, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Michael Jackson, Milt Jackson, Paul Jackson, Jr., Randy Jackson, Jaguares, Ahmad Jamal, Bob James, Boney James, Dean James, Javier, The Jets, Jimsaku, Courtney Jaye, Elton John, Brothers Johnson, The Jones Girls, Booker T. Jones, George Jones, Quincy Jones, José José, Journey,


Dirk K, Nick Kamen, Jann Arden, Jass A Karaka, Kassav', Junichi Kawauchi, KC and the Sunshine Band, Keb' Mo', Kelis, Paul Kelly, Joyce Kennedy, Chaka Khan, B. B. King, Bobby King, Yoru Ni Kizutsuite, John Klemmer, Earl Klugh, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Josee Koning, Dave Koz, Diana Krall


Patti Labelle, Cheryl Ladd, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joe Lamont, Neil Larsen, D. C. LaRue, James Last, Ronnie Laws, Rick Lawson, Maysa Leak, Rita Lee, Gary LeMel, Les Charts, Kevyn Lettau, Level 42, LeVert, Ramsey Lewis, Ivan Lins, Lori Lieberman, Little River Band, Little Feat, Living in a Box, Edu Lobo, Kenny Loggins, Trini Lopez Jeff Lorber, Gloria Loring, Mike Love, L.T.D., Bobby Lyle, Cheryl Lynn


Madonna, Magnum, Mahogani Blue, Teena Marie, Melissa Manchester, Henry Mancini, Chuck Mangione, Manhattan Transfer, Barry Manilow, Mimi Manners, Tania Maria, Eric Marienthal, Amanda Marshall, Martika, Eric Martin, Marilyn Martin, Ricky Martin, Cliff Martinez, Richard Marx, Hugh Masekela Johnny Mathis, Ney Matogrosso, Kazu Matsui, Curtis Mayfield, Letta Mbulu, Les McCann, Frank McComb, Mindy McCready, Michael McDonald, Bobby Mcferrin, Bill Medley, The Memphis Horns, Sérgio Mendes, Mezzoforte, Bette Midler, Raul Midón, Luis Miguel, Marcus Miller, Stephanie Mills, Yoshitaka Minami, Liza Minnelli, The Miracles, Joni Mitchell, Philip Mitchell, Molly Hatchet, Eddie Money, Jane Monheit, Jeremy Monteiro, Chanté Moore, Motivation, Martin Mull, Gary Myrick, Mystic Merlin


Najee, Masami Nakagawa, Miyuki Nakajima, Andy Narell, Nazareth, Willie Nelson, Ann Nesby, Sammy Nestico, Robbie Nevil, Randy Newman, Olivia Newton-John, Nielsen/Pearson Maxine Nightingale,


O'Bryan, The Offspring, Claus Ogerman, Michael Omartian, The Originals, Susan Osborn Jeffrey Osborne, Lee Oskar, Overtime, Ozone


David Pack, Gene Page, Dolly Parton, Joe Pass, John Patitucci, Peaches & Herb, Lucy Pearl, Pebbles, Teddy Pendergrass, Heitor Pereira, Greg Phillinganes, Leslie Phillips, Sam Phillis, Wilson Phillips, Pieces of a Dream, John Pizzarelli, Ray Pizzi, Pleasure, The Pockets, Poco, The Pointer Sisters, David Pomeranz, Jimmy Ponder, Jean-Luc Ponty, Art Porter, Sr., Marc Portman, Mark Portman, Billy Preston, Alan Price, Prince




The Raes, Chuck Rainey, Bonnie Raitt, Mac Rebennack Jr. (Dr. John), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Reid, Renaud, Rene & Angela, Graeme Revell, James Reyne, Zezo Ribeiro Zachary Richard, Lionel Richie, Minnie Riperton, Lee Ritenour, Véronique Rivière, Rockie Robbins, David Roberts, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Dräco Rosa, Frank Rosolino, Diana Ross, Vasco Rossi, Demis Roussos, Rufus Patrice Rushen, Brenda Russell,


Katey Sagal, Carole Bayer Sager, Henri Salvador, Richie Sambora, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Marta Sánchez, Evie Sands, Hiroshi Sato, Joe Satriani, Leo Sayer, Diane Schuur, Ilse María Olivo Schweinfurth (simply known in Mexico as Ilse), Lalo Schiffrin, Jill Scott, Marilyn Scott, Tom Scott, Seal, Dan Seals, Seawind, Jon Secada, Bob Seger, Michael Sembello, Serah, Doc Severinsen, Bill Sharpe, Marlena Shaw, Vonda Shepard Shoko Suzukif, Shotgun, Ben Sidran, Ricardo Silveira, Ray Simpson, Bob Sinclar, Sister Sledge, Slave, Slash's Snakepit, Curt Smith, Sneaker, Spinners, Splendor, Tracie Spencer, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Frank Stallone, Jermaine Stewart, Rod Stewart, Sting, John Stoddart, Angie Stone, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Melissa Sweeney,


T-Connection, Masayoshi Takanaka, Talking Heads, Bernie Taupin, Tavares, Andy Taylor, James "J.T." Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Martin Taylor, Nino Tempo, The Temptations, Mike Theodore Orchestra, Toots Thielemans, TLC, Hitomi Tohyama, Tokyo Monogatari, Tomandandy, Allen Toussaint, Carlos Toshiki, Toto, Gloria Trevi, Robin Trower, Stanley Turrentine, Conway Twitty, Steve Tyrell,


U-Nam, Urban Nights


Frankie Valli, Luther Vandross, Vanity, Gino Vannelli, Andreas Varady, Sarah Vaughan, Charles Veal, Tata Vega, Maria Vidal,


W. G. Snuffy Walden, Walk This Way, Wang Chung, Jennifer Warnes, Dionne Warwick, Geno Washington, Keith Washington, Sadao Watanabe, David Waters, Jody Watley, Johnny Guitar Watson, Ernie Watts, Fee Waybill, Patty Weaver, Kirk Whalum, The Whispers, Barry White, Karyn White, Lenny White, Maurice White, Michael White, Deniece Williams, Lenny Williams, Nancy Wilson, Patrick Williams, Vesta Williams, Pauline Wilson, Vanessa L. Williams, The Winans, Angela Winbush, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Stevie Woods, Gary Wright,


Yarbrough & Peoples, Yellowjackets, Y Kant Tori Read, Yes, You Am I, Yutaka


Pia Zadora

Solo Albums[edit]

Live performances[edit]

  • 1973-1976 - Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’77[36]
  • 1977 - Montreux Jazz Festival (with da Costa’s band)[7]
  • 1984 - Playboy Jazz Festival (with the Yellow Jackets) [37]
  • 1987 - The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards (with George Duke, David Sanborn, George Benson)[38]
  • 1988 - Rosemary Clooney "Singers' Salute to the Songwriters" Dorothy Chandler Pavilion[39]
  • 1990 - Lee Ritenour and Friends - Live from the Cocoanut Grove[40]
  • 1990 - Rainforest Foundation Benefit Performance at Ted Child's House (Sting, Paul Simon, Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis)
  • 1990 - Nelson Mandela - An International Tribute for a Free South Africa[41]
  • 1992 - Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, (Lalo Shifrin Conductor)
  • 1993 - Montreux Jazz Festival (George Duke, Al Jarreau)[42]
  • 1994 - The Kennedy Center Concert of the Americas with Quincy Jones part of the Hemispheric Summit for all the Presidents of the Americas, 34 Countries, 150 performers[43]
  • 1995 - A Tribute to Tom Jobim, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center ( Lee Ritenour, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso)[44]
  • 1996 - Lalo Schifrin Big Band Schifrin's tribute to Dizzy Gillespie - “The Gillespiana Suite”
  • 1997 - Songs And Visions Concert, Wembley Stadium (Tony Hollingsworth, Stewart Levine, Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi Seal Mary J. Blige )
  • 2001 - Eric Clapton Tour[45]
  • 2001 - Diana Krall, Live in Paris, Olympia
  • 2006 - JC Penney Jam Concert For America’s Kids (Dr. Phil, David Foster)[46]
  • 2008 - Montreux Jazz Festival (Quincy's 75th Anniversary)[47]
  • 2008 - Diana Krall Live in Rio[48]
  • 2010 - Montreux Jazz Festival (Quincy Jones & The Global Gumbo All-Stars)[49]
  • 2010 - Herbie Hancock’s Seven Decades at the Hollywood Bowl[50]
  • 2012 - Mawazine Rhythms of the World Festival in Rabat, Morocco[51]
  • 2013 - Power of Love Gala, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center, MGM (Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Bono, ChrisTucker, Amy Poehler, Arsenio Hall, Whoopi Goldberg)[52]


Costa has contributed to the music in the following:


  1. ^ Lloyd, Robin (4 April 2013). "Prolific percussion master Paulinho da Costa". KPLU. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b All Music Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music. Backbeat Books. 2002. p. 296. ISBN 978-0879307172. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Lopes, Neil. ENCICLOPÉDIA BRASILEIRA DA DIÁSPORA AFRICANA [ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA BRAZILIAN] (in Portuguese). Sao Paolo: Selo Negro Edições. ISBN 8587478214. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Essinger, Silvio (25 November 2012). "Paulinho da Costa, o músico brasileiro que tocou em ‘Thriller’". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Alcione 1: não deixe o jazz morrer, não deixe o blues acabar…". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Hershorn, Tad (2011). Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice. University of California Press. p. 304. ISBN 0520267826. 
  7. ^ a b "PAULINHO DA COSTA, July 15, 1977, Montreux Casino". Montreaux Jazz Live. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Free Ride". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Dizzy's Party". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Bahiana". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Faces". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "I Am". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Raise". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Powerlight". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Millennium". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "In the Name of Love". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Jones, Quincy (2002). Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. Three Rivers Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-0767905107. 
  18. ^ "The Wiz". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Dude". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "Basie & Beyond". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Back on the Block". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Q’s Jook Joint". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "From Q With Love". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Light Up The Night". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Give Me the Night". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Donna Summer". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  27. ^ "Till I Loved You". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "USA For Africa: We Are the World". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "Off the Wall". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  30. ^ "Thriller". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  31. ^ "Bad". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  32. ^ "Dangerous". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  33. ^ "HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I". All Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  34. ^ "The Color Purple - Cast I". IMDB. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  35. ^ "Paulinho Da Costa | Credits". AllMusic. 1948-05-31. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  36. ^ "Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '77". Discogs Music. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  37. ^ "Yellowjackets History". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  38. ^ "The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1987 TV Special)". IMDB. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  39. ^ Oates, Marylouise (April 1, 1988). "Old Friends, Singers Salute the Songwriters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  40. ^ "Lee Ritenour and Friends - Live from the Cocoanut Grove". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  41. ^ "Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa". Tony Hollingsworth. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "AL JARREAU, July 06, 1993, Stravinski Auditorium". Montreaux Jazz Live. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  43. ^ "Concert of the Americas". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  44. ^ "Cover:Cover". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  45. ^ "The Band". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  46. ^ "CORAZON PARTIO". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  47. ^ "QUINCY'S 75th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, July 14, 2008, Stravinski Auditorium". Montreaux Jazz Live. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  48. ^ "Diana Krall: Live In Rio". All About Jazz. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  49. ^ "QUINCY JONES & THE GLOBAL GUMBO ALL-STARS, July 16, 2010, Stravinski Auditorium". Montreaux Jazz Live. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  50. ^ "HERBIE HANCOCK: SEVEN DECADES – THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION". Hollywood Bowl. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  51. ^ "Quincy Jones to Lead Historic Concert to Promote Peace During Morocco’s Annual Mawazine Music Festival". The Urban Music Scene. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  52. ^ Gunderson, Edna (April 14, 2013). "Quincy Jones, Michael Caine toasted at birthday benefit". USA Today. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 

External links[edit]