“Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival” 2018

João Donato de Oliveira Neto was born in Rio Branco, the capital of the Acre, Brasil  August 17, 1934. His father, also named João Donato, was an airplane pilot, and during his free time used to play the Mandolin. His mother was a Singer, the older sister, Eneyda, studied to be a concert pianist, and the younger brother Lysias chose the lyrics, so, he ended up collaborating on his brother’s compositions.

JoaoDonato 2He started playing the accordion and the piano in childhood. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in the 40s and early 50s and was already operating professionally in Rio. He became interested in jazz and bossa nova playing in the club square, when the owner was Johnny Alf. He soon befriends Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Luiz Bonfá and others. He recorded some albums in the 50s, and in 1959 he went to Mexico and later to the United States, where he lived for some years. He toured Europe with João Gilberto and returned to Brazil in 1962, recording the album "Gran parte de la voluntad". Then he returned to the United States, where he lived for ten years.

He has recorded solo albums and with other artists and some of his compositions were very successful, such as "Amazonas", "The frog" and "Banana", which is characterized by rhythmic originality brought to the piano. Back in Brazil, released in 1975 "common place", with associations with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, followed by other recordings. His songs have strong instrumental character, made collaborations with several artists. Some examples are:

•"The Frog" (ft, Caetano Veloso)•"Amazonas" (ft, Lisias Ênio)
•"Peace" and "Common Place" (Gil)
•"Born to Dance" (ft, Paul André Barata)
•"Cages open "(ft, Martinho da Vila). 

His songs has been also recorded for other artists such as, Gal Costa ( "Passion Flower"), Adriana Calcanhotto ( "In the Station"), Angela Ro Ro ( "Simple Affection"), Nana Caymmi ( "For to know") .
He has a great demand as arranger, Donato made orchestrations for Fagner, Gal and Martinho da Vila. Then he spent a period without recording in Brazil, until in 1996 "things so simple", followed by "Café con pan" with Eloir de Moraes (1997), "I dance samba Only" (1999) and the three volumes of Songbook by João Donato, published by Lumiar publishing house. These releases have brought one of the most original Brazilian composers on the scene in the 90s, performing shows and visits in Brazil. In 2000, the US label Elefante Records released the CD "Amazonas", among them some of the greatest hits such as "Sambolero", "Viento en Canavial" and "Aquarius".

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