Toninho Horta

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Toninho Horta

Toninho Horta (born December 2, 1948) is an electric and nylon-string guitar player working in a style of jazz-influenced Brazilian music. Compositions in his personal style are marked by sophisticated harmonic progressions and complex melodies. In performed arrangements of his own pieces he often features driving, strummed guitar rhythms.

In addition to composing and performing his own work, Horta has worked for many years as and arranger or sideman for many important Brazilian artists, such as Elis Regina, Milton Nascimento, Maria Bethania, João Bosco, Airto Moreira, Edu Lobo, Nana Caymmi, Flora Purim, Gal Costa, Sérgio Mendes, Chico Buarque, Flávio Venturini, Joyce, Johnny Alf, Wagner Tiso, Francis Hime and Beto Guedes. He was an original member of the famous and highly influential Clube da Esquina musical collective in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais which included Milton Nascimento, Lô Borges, Fernando Brant, Márcio Borges, and Wagner Tiso, which recorded the legendary recording called Clube da Esquina.

His intricate compositions and original guitar playing have influenced a generation of musicians in Brazil and North America. Pat Metheny, who considers him to be “one of the world’s great ‘composers’ on nylon-string guitar (named violão in Brazil)”, comments, “He (Toninho) plays such great voicings with such a cool time feel… I’ve often described him to other musicians as the Herbie Hancock of Bossa-Nova guitarists ….. In short, Toninho Horta is an incredible musician, the rare guitarist who understands harmony in its most intimate ways…” (Pat Metheny's words on the booklet of Toninho’s Diamond Land). Pat’s strong admiration for Toninho’s music can be heard on many of his own compositions. Pat once said Toninho writes guitar chord progressions that "defy gravity".

Among Toninho's best-known compositions are Beijo Partido (Broken Kiss, on Diamond Land), Gershwin, Pedra da Lua and Manuel o Audaz (the last three on Moonstone. The last two appear with English titles consecutively Moonstone and Eternal Youth).


  1. Beto Guedes, Danilo Caymmi, Novelli e Toninho Horta (EMI-Odeon, 1973)
  2. Terra dos Pássaros (Independente, 1980; reissued on Dubas/WEA, 1995 and 2008)
  3. Toninho Horta (EMI-Odeon, 1980; reissued on Minas, 2002)
  4. Diamond Land (Polygram/Verve Forecast, 1988)
  5. Concerto Planeta Terra with Nelson Ayres, Nivaldo Ornellas and Marcio Montarroyos (Independente, 1989)
  6. Toninho Horta e Flavio Venturini no Circo Voador (Dubas/WEA, 1989; reissued in 1997)
  7. Moonstone (Polygram/Verve Forecast, 1989)
  8. Once I Loved (Polygram/Verve Forecast, 1992)
  9. Durango Kid, Part I (Big World Music, 1993)
  10. Live in Moskow (B & W, 1994)
  11. Foot on the Road (Polydor K.K. Japan, 1994)
  12. Toninho Horta & Carlos Fernando (Dubas/Warner, 1994; reissued in 2004)
  13. Durango Kid 2 (Big World Music, 1995)
  14. Toninho Horta & Joyce (Shinsei-Do, Japan 1995; reissued in Brazil on Biscoito Fino, 2007)
  15. From Belo to Seoul with Jack Lee (TruSpace, South Korea 1997; reissued in Brazil on Minas, 2001)
  16. Serenade (TruSpace/Aqui-Oh, 1997)
  17. From Ton to Tom (De Ton Para Tom) - A Tribute to Tom Jobim (Videoarts, 1998; reissued on Minas, 2002, and on Ressonance,2008)
  18. Duets with Nicola Stilo (Millesuoni/RCA Italy, 1999; reissued in the USA on Adventure, 2005)
  19. Quadros Modernos with Juarez Moreira and Chiquito Braga (Independent, 2000, and Minas, 2001)
  20. Com o Pé no Forró (Minas, 2004)
  21. Solo ao Vivo (Minas, 2007)
  22. Toninho in Vienna (PAO, 2007)
  23. Cape Horn with Arismar do Espírito Santo (Porto das Canoas, 2007)
  24. Tonight with Tom Lellis (Adventure, 2008)
  25. To Jobim with Love (Resonance, 2008)
  26. Harmonia e Vozes (Minas, 2010)
  27. Minas / Tokio (Minas, 2010)
  28. Japa (Minas, 2010)
  29. From Napoli To Belo Horizonte with Antonio Onorato (Minas, 2013)
  30. No Horizonte de Napoli with Stefano Silvestri (Minas, 2014)
  31. "Alegria é Guardada em Cofres, Catedrais" with Alaíde Costa (Minas, 2015)
  32. Cuerdas Del Sur with Juarez Moreira, Chiquito Braga, Luiz Salinas & Cristian Gálvez (Minas, 2016)
  33. Horizonte (featured), by David Feldman (musician) (2016)

Tribute albums[edit]

  • Pedra da Lua - Carla Villar Canta Toninho Horta (2007)
  • Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Plays Toninho Horta (2011)
  • Wilson Lopes e Beto Lopes - Nossas Mãos - Homenagem a Toninho Horta (2013)


  • O Som Instrumental De Minas (Minas, 2001)


  • Violões de Minas (2005)
  • Tom de Minas - Solo ao Vivo (2010)
  • A Música Audaz de Toninho Horta (2010)


  • Toninho Horta Harmonia Compartilhada (2010), (Biography)

External links[edit]