Eumir Deodato

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Eumir Deodato
Deodato in Venice, c. 1970
Deodato in Venice, c. 1970
Background information
Birth nameEumir Deodato de Almeida
Also known asDeodato
Born (1943-06-22) 22 June 1943 (age 79)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Musician
  • composer
  • arranger
  • record producer
Years active1959–present
LabelsCTI, MCA, Warner Bros.

Eumir Deodato de Almeida (Brazilian Portuguese: [ẽwˈmiʁ deoˈdatu]; born 22 June 1943)[1] 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.[2]

Deodato has arranged and produced more than 500 records for acts such as Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack, Björk and Christophe, as well as produced Kool & the Gang's hits "Celebration", "Ladies' Night" and "Too Hot".[3]

Deodato was nominated for three Grammy Awards and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1974 for "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)." The song peaked at number 2 on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 in March 1973.[4] It reached number 3 in Canada and number 7 on the British charts.[5][6]


Deodato began his musical life on accordion when he was 12 years old, and 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.[2] Eumir’s paternal grandfather was a marble craftsman from Custonaci, Sicily.[7]


Recording career[edit]

Deodato often plays the Fender Rhodes electric piano. He became successful as a keyboard player 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.[8] This album was crossover music style that attracted a large audience and was produced by Creed Taylor for his label CTI. The album sold 5 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.[2]

His second album, Deodato 2, reached number 19 on the Billboard album chart, and the single "Rhapsody in Blue" reached No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973.[9] 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.

In 1978, he had an orchestral hit with Whistle Bump from the LP titled Love Island. The track promoted the widespread use of whistles in nightclubs at the time. However, his popularity in the discos was solidified when he released the 1979 single Night Cruiser from the album of the same name, which earned him a third Grammy nomination for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.[10] 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 Billboard magazine'ss top 20 Dance chart.[11]

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. In 2010 he played the rhodes piano in the album Oasis produced and performed by Marita Pauli. In 2018 he arranged and conducted the strings orchestra in the album The First released by Riccardo Dalli Cardillo.

Arranging and producing[edit]

Since the 1960s, Deodato has been in demand as a producer and arranger. He has worked on more than 500 albums, and 15 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),[2] which was dedicated to the work of Antônio Carlos Jobim and recorded in Rio when Deodato was 22. Jobim praised him in the album's liner notes. Deodato played piano with guitarists Oscar Castro-Neves and Roberto Menescal.[12] 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.[2]

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 who included Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Paul Desmond.[2] Deodato also worked with Joao Donato (1970), Youg, Holt Unlimited (1973) and Luiz Bonfá (1973). He had other collaborations, including producing Kool and the Gang from the late 1970s to the early 1980s and the first solo album by Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners in 1988 as well as arranging Bjork's albums Post, Telegram and Homogenic. For his Love Island, Deodato co-wrote the song "Tahiti Hut" with Maurice White. "Tahiti Hut", with lyrics written for it afterwards, was recorded by the band Switch with guest vocals by Jermaine Jackson.

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

Personal life[edit]

His daughter Kennya Deodato (b.1968) is married to actor Stephen Baldwin.[13] His granddaughter Hailey Bieber is married to Canadian singer Justin Bieber.[14]



Year Album Peak chart positions Label
US Pop
US Jazz
1964 Inutil Paisagem Forma
Ideias... Odeon
Samba Nova Concepção Equipe
1965 Bossa Nova for Swinging Lovers London Globe
The Gentle Rain Mercury
1972 Percepção London
1973 Prelude[8] 3 1 17 6 CTI
Deodato 2 19 16 1 37 24
DonatoDeodato (with João Donato) 35 Muse
Os Catedraticos 73 Equipe
1974 In Concert (with Airto Moreira) 114 29 CTI
Whirlwinds 63 28 7 85 54 MCA
Artistry 102 20
1975 First Cuckoo 110 15 11
Love, Strings and Jobim Warner Bros.
1976 Very Together 86 13 MCA
1978 Love Island 98 9 100 Warner Bros.
1979 Knights of Fantasy 7
1980 Night Cruiser 186 53 7
1982 Happy Hour 30
1984 Motion
1989 In Concert CBS
Somewhere Out There Atlantic
2009 Live in Rio DRG Brazil
2010 The Crossing Expansion
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

As sideman[edit]

With Luiz Bonfa

  • The Bonfa Magic (Milestone, 1993)
  • Jacaranda (JSR, 1998)
  • Black Orpheus Impressions (Sony, 2000)

With Astrud Gilberto

With Antonio Carlos Jobim

  • Stone Flower (CTI, 1970)
  • Tide (Verve/A&M, 1970)
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim's Finest Hour (Verve, 2000)

With Kool & the Gang

  • Ladies' Night (De-Lite, 1979)
  • Something Special (De-Lite, 1981)
  • As One (De-Lite, 1982)

With Ithamara Koorax

  • Ithamara Koorax Sings the Luiz Bonfa Songbook (Paddle Wheel, 1996)
  • Serenade in Blue (Milestone, 2000)

With Roberto Menescal

  • A Nova Bossa Nova (Elenco, 1964)
  • The Boy from Ipanema Beach (Kapp, 1965)
  • Bossa Nova (Odeon, 1998)
  • A Bossa Nova De Roberto Menescal (Elenco/EmArcy/Universal 2004)

With Milton Nascimento

  • Courage (A&M/CTI, 1969)
  • Clube Da Esquina (EMI, 1972)

With Brenda K. Starr

  • Brenda K. Starr (MCA, 1987)
  • By Heart (Epic, 1991)

With Stanley Turrentine

  • Salt Song (CTI, 1971)
  • The Baddest Turrentine (CTI, 1973)
  • The Sugar Man (CTI, 1975)

With Marcos Valle

  • Braziliance! (Warner Bros., 1966)
  • Samba '68 (Verve, 1968)

With others


Year Single (A-side / B-side) Peak chart positions
US Pop
US Dance
CAN Dance
1973 "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)" / "Spirit of Summer" 2 5 4 7 3 22
"Rhapsody in Blue" / "Super Strut" 41 42 42 48 13
1974 "Do It Again" (live) / "Branches" (live) (B-side is by Airto)
"Moonlight Serenade" / "Havana Strut" 83 5
1975 "Caravan" / "Watusi Strut" 3
1976 "Theme from Peter Gunn" / "Amani" 84 96 20
1978 "Pina Colada" / "Love Island"
"Whistle Bump" / "Love Island" 81 8 1
1979 "Shazam" / "Space Dust" 71
1980 "Night Cruiser" / "Groovation" 23
"East Side Strut" / "Uncle Funk"
1982 "Keep It in the Family" / "Keep on Movin'" 41
"Happy Hour" / "Sweet Magic" 70 70 44
1984 "S.O.S. Fire in the Sky" / "East Side Strut" 6 77
"Are You for Real" / "Motion" 17
1989 "Everybody Wants My Girl" (featuring Tom Hammer)
2010 "Double Face" (feat. Al Jarreau) (UK only release)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  1. ^ Eumir Deodato Archived 14 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Dicionário Cravo Albin da Música Popular Brasileira.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Neder, Alvaro. "Deodato". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. ^ Hanson, Amy. "Ladies' Night". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b Feldman, Christopher (2000). Billboard Book of Number 2 Singles. Watson-Guptill. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-8230-7695-6.
  5. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - April 7, 1973" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 151. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Deodato allo Spasimo dirige l' Orchestra jazz - la". Archivio - la (in Italian). Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b Desouteiro, Arnaldo (30 September 2013). "40 Years of Eumir Deodato's iconic "Prelude"". Jazz Station. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Deodato – Billboard Hot 100". Billboard.
  10. ^ "GRAMMY Award Results for Eumir Deodato". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Deodato – Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  12. ^ Neder, Alvaro. "Inutil Paisagem". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  13. ^ Faber, Judy (5 September 2006). "Stephen Baldwin: Born Again". CBS News. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Justin Bieber confirms he is a 'married man'". CNN. 24 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 87. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ "RPM Magazine". Library and Archives Canada. 17 July 2013.
  17. ^ "RPM Top Singles". Library and Archives Canada. 17 July 2013.
  18. ^ "RPM AC". Library and Archives Canada. 17 July 2013.
  19. ^ "RPM Dance". Library and Archives Canada. 17 July 2013.

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