Eumir Deodato

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Eumir Deodato
Eumir Deodato in Venice c. 1970
Eumir Deodato in Venice c. 1970
Background information
Birth nameEumir Deodato de Almeida
Also known asDeodato
Born (1942-06-22) 22 June 1942 (age 79)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Record producer
Years active1959–present
LabelsCTI, MCA, Warner Bros.
Associated actsKool & the Gang
John Tropea
Hubert Laws

Eumir Deodato de Almeida (Brazilian Portuguese: [ẽʊ̃ˈmiχ deoˈdatu]; born 22 June 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]

Deodato has arranged and produced more than 500 records for Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack, Björk, Christophe, including Kool & the Gang's hits "Celebration", "Ladies' Night", and "Too Hot".[2]

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. It reached number 7 on the British charts.


Deodato began his musical life on accordion when he was 12 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 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.[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.

In 1978, he had an orchestral hit with Whistle Bump from the LP called 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.[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 producing[edit]

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 Antônio 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 and 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 the late 70s to the 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 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.[7] His granddaughter Hailey Bieber is married to Canadian singer Justin Bieber.[8]


  • Inutil Paisagem (Forma, 1964)
  • Ideias... (Odeon, 1964)
  • Samba Nova Concepção (Equipe, 1964)
  • O Som dos Catedráticos (Equipe: Rio de Janeiro, 1965)
  • Bossa Nova for Swinging Lovers (London Globe, 1965)
  • The Gentle Rain (Mercury, 1965)
  • Percepção (London, 1972)
  • Prelude (CTI, 1973)[3] US #3, AUS #17[9]
  • Deodato 2 (CTI, 1973) US #19, AUS #37[9]
  • Star Edition (compilation, CTI, 1973)
  • DonatoDeodato (Muse, 1973)
  • Os Catedraticos 73 (Equipe, 1973)
  • Whirlwinds (MCA, 1974) US #63, AUS #85[9]
  • Artistry (MCA, 1974) US #102
  • In Concert (CTI, 1974)
  • First Cuckoo (MCA, 1975)
  • Love, Strings, and Jobim (Warner Bros., 1975)
  • Tremendão (Padrao, 1976)
  • Impulso! (Padrao, 1976)
  • Daybreak (Record Bazaar, 1976)
  • Arranjo e Regencia Vol. 3 (Padrao, 1976)
  • Very Together (MCA, 1976)
  • Love Island (Warner Bros., 1978) US #98
  • Knights of Fantasy (Warner Bros., 1979)
  • Night Cruiser (Warner Bros., 1980)
  • Happy Hour (Warner Bros., 1982)
  • Motion (Warner Bros., 1984)
  • In Concert (CBS, 1989)
  • Somewhere Out There (Atlantic, 1989)
  • 2001 (CTI)
  • Live in Rio (DRG Brazil, 2009)
  • The Crossing (Expansion, 2010)

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


  • "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)"/"Spirit of Summer" – (1973) AC #5 US # 2,[10] UK # 7,[11] AUS #4[9]
  • "Rhapsody in Blue"/"Super Strut" (1973) US #41, AUS #42[9]
  • "Do It Again" (live)/"Branches" (live) (B-Side is by Airto) (1974)
  • "Moonlight Serenade"/"Havana Strut" (1974) AC #18, AUS #83[9]
  • "Medley: Caravan/Watusi Strut"/ "Watusi Strut" (1975) Dance #9
  • "Theme From Star Trek"/" I Shot The Sheriff" (1976) AC #27
  • "Theme from Peter Gunn"/"Amani" (1976) US #84 Dance #20 R&B #96
  • "Pina Colada"/"Love Island (Edit)" (1978)
  • "Whistle Bump"/"Love Island (Edit)" (1978) Dance #8 R&B #81
  • "Shazam"/"Space Dust/"Sherlock" (1979) Dance #71
  • "Night Cruiser"/"Love Magic" (1980) Dance #23
  • "East Side Strut"/ "Uncle Funk" (1980)
  • "Keep It in the Family"/"Keep on Movin'"(1982) Dance #41
  • "Happy Hour"/"Sweet Magic" (1982) US #70
  • "S.O.S. Fire in the Sky"/"East Side Strut" (1984) AUS #77[9]
  • "Are You For Real"/"Motion" (1984)
  • "Everybody Wants My Girl" (feat. Tom Hammer) (1989)
  • "Double Face (feat. Al Jarreau)" (2010) (UK Only Release) Nicolosi Productions


  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. ^ "Deodato". Billboard.
  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. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  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 links[edit]