Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro and was a songwriter, composer, singer and pianist. An influential force behind the movement and creation of the musical style bossa nova, Jobim, has been hailed internationally by musical peers, fans, and critics alike as an innovative instrumentalist and composer. Of note is his world-famous composition, “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”), one of the most recorded songs of all time.
Jobim's love for music began at an early age and he was encouraged by his step-father who bought Jobim his first piano. Jobim got his professional start in music performing regularly in local nightclubs and bars. His job at a record label as a music arranger propelled his career further and set him on the path to be a successful composer. Jobim's body of work over the course of four decades spurred 13 solo albums.
Jobim's musical inspiration came from the legendary composer, Pixinguinha, who brought modern music into Brazilian music in the 1930s. Jobim was also influenced by the French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
Jobim's big break in Brazil came from a collaboration with the poet Vinícius de Moraes who asked Jobim to write the music for the play, “Orfeu de Conceição,” in 1956. The success of the musical score led to Jobim being asked to write the musical score for the screen adaptation of the 1959 play, “Black Orpheus.”
Jobim's next collaboration with the jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, João Gilberto and Gilberto's wife at the time Astrud Gilberto resulted in two albums 1963’s “Getz/Gilberto” and 1964’s “Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2.” The work of Getz and Gilberto on these two albums created the bossa nova musical craze that swept the U.S. The success of these two albums, and the international exposure of Jobim’s writing abilities, arrangements, and compositions led to the “Getz/Gilberto” albums becoming some of the bestselling jazz albums of all time, while turning Astrud Gilberto into an overnight sensation and making Jobim an in-demand musician to work with. The album went on to win multiple Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. “The Girl from Ipanema” also won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
While Jobim toured in the 1960s and 1970s and produced a series of solo albums for labels such as, Verve, Warner Bros, Discovery, A&M, CTI and MCA, he preferred to stay at home and work in the studio with other artists. As the 1980s and 1990s emerged, Jobim focused the latter half of his career on scoring music for feature films and television in Brazil.
However, in 1985, Jobim began to tour once again with his wife Ana Lontra, his son Paulo, daughter Elizabeth, and various musical friends. In 1994, Jobim was diagnosed with a bladder tumor which caused him to postpone his current touring schedule. While undergoing treatment for the tumor he worked on what would be his final album. Jobim had surgery in New York City and died in 1994 from a sudden heart attack while recovering. His last album, “Antonio Brasileiro,” was released three days after his death.