|Genres||Alternative rock, funk rock, jazz fusion, ska punk|
|Years active||1991–2002, 2012|
|Associated acts||Pluto, SuperNada|
Ornatos Violeta was a Portuguese alternative rock band from the city of Porto, that was active from 1991 to 2002. The group, often referred to simply as Ornatos, consisted of vocalist Manel Cruz, bassist Nuno Prata, guitarist Peixe and drummer Kinörm, with Elísio Donas at the keyboard.
The band, whose music included some other influences such as funk, jazz and ska, grew over the years to become a reference in Portuguese music of the late 90's. Fueled by the release of their debut album Cão! in 1997 and O Monstro Precisa de Amigos two years later, Ornatos were at the peak of their career when they split in 2002. This so far unexplained ending prompted several requests for a reunion over the years.
The band members went on to work independently on several other projects in the following decade, while a cult following started to grow around Ornatos, in particular around the work of Manel Cruz, author of most of the lyrics, and protagonist of newer projects such as Pluto and SuperNada. To honor the 10 years of their last concert, and taking into account the consolidation of their status as a cult band, the group decided to schedule a series of celebration concerts, that took place during the year of 2012.
In 1997, they composed Cão! (Dog!) their first album - which included the song Letra S, a duet with Manuela Azevedo, the voice of Clã (another successful Portuguese band) - an album where for the first time the group showed they were keen to explore a mixed sound, with Cruz's unique writing style, much to their fans', and most of the national musical reviewers', delight. In the following year, during the Expo 98, they collaborated on the compilation Tejo Beat alongside Boss AC, Blasted Mechanism, Zen and Flood with the song Tempo de Nascer.
Their last album, O Monstro Precisa de Amigos (The Monster Needs Friends), came out in 1999, with a more carefully thought production, and generally speaking, a less active and calmer style. The album contained the singles Ouvi Dizer, a duet with the older Portuguese musician Vitor Espadinha, and Capitão Romance, with Gordon Gano, vocalist of the well-known Violent Femmes. It was also during that year that they helped to produce XX Anos XX Bandas, a tribute to the Portuguese band Xutos e Pontapés, with a cover of Xutos' song Circo de Feras.
After some speculation about their future, Ornatos Violeta split up in 2002. Pluto followed, a more traditional rock group, with Manel Cruz (vocals + rhythm guitar) and Peixe (lead guitar).
In 2009 one of the main radio stations in Portugal, Antena 3, celebrated 15 years choosing the best 15 albums of those years. O Monstro Precisa de Amigos came in 1st place.
In 2012, the band performed seven shows, which were announced as being their last. The first was at Paredes de Coura Festival, three shows in the Coliseu dos Recreios (Lisbon), three shows at the Coliseu do Porto and one show at the Coliseu Micaelense in the Azores.
- 2011 - Inéditos/Raridades
- "Ornatos Violeta de volta aos palcos" (in Portuguese). porto24. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "O monstro nasceu há 15 anos e continua a fazer amigos" (in Portuguese). Observador. 22 November 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "Reedições e inéditos para os 20 anos dos Ornatos Violeta" (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "Ornatos acrescentam três datas ao seu regresso" (in Portuguese). Sol. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "Ornatos Violeta nos coliseus de Lisboa e Porto em outubro" (in Portuguese). Blitz. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2017.