Jobim, Antônio Carlos [Tom] (Brasileiro de Almeida)
(bRio de Janeiro, 25 Jan 1927; d New York, 8 Dec 1994). Brazilian composer, pianist, guitarist and arranger. In his early teens he took piano lessons from Koellreutter and later from Branco and Tomás Terán, and also studied orchestration, harmony and composition. In the mid-1940s he began to work as a pianist in the bars and nightclubs of Rio's beach areas of Copacabana and Ipanema. In 1952 he worked as an arranger for the recording firm Continental and his first recorded pieces appeared in the following year. He became the artistic director for the Odeon label in 1956 and began a lifelong association with the poet Vinicius de Morais, composing and conducting the music for the play Orfeu da Conceição.
In 1959 the aesthetic manifesto of the bossa nova was famously presented on João Gilberto's album Chega de Saudade, which included Jobim's song Desafinado, with lyrics by Newton Mendonça, and Jobim's Samba de uma nota só was included on Gilberto's second album, O amor, o sorriso e a flor (1960). Among the many Vincius-Jobim collaborations, however, none won more international popularity than Garota de Ipanema (1962). With Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's instrumental version of Desafinado, the American bossa nova craze took hold: Audio Fidelity promoted a concert of bossa nova music at Carnegie Hall in November 1962, and in 1963 The Composer of Desafinado Plays was issued, Jobim's first solo recording. From 1964 onwards his success in the USA grew rapidly, with various Grammy awards, several LP releases including Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), and television and film soundtrack contracts. By the late 1960s his music had become part of the repertory of leading international pop and jazz artists.
During the last 25 years of his life the worldwide recognition of his talents was unprecedented for a Brazilian popular musician: his music was recorded in the best studios of New York and Los Angeles and released on the largest multinational labels. He toured with his Banda Nova in several continents, received several further Grammy awards and was awarded many honours, including honorary doctorates from Brazilian and Portuguese universities. Most important were his collaborations with other Brazilian musicians, including João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento. Several biographies, songbooks and monographs on his work were published. His output, which numbers some 250 titles, reveals his talents as a profoundly creative composer whose innovative and inspiring melodies, harmonies and rhythms and inventive orchestration always expressed his passionate love for his native city and its people with simplicity and honest emotion.