Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) Biography » Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim: 1927-1994: Musician Biography - Developed Early Musical Talent, Bossa Nova Became U.s. Sensation, Inducted Into Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim: 1927-1994: Musician - Developed Early Musical Talent

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Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, and grew up in its Ipanema district. As a boy, he played in the lush forests near his home and developed a deep love of nature. The forests and the seaside would later be reflected in the lyrics of the songs he wrote. His father, Jorge Jobim, was a diplomat and professor; his mother, Nilza Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, operated a local primary school. When Jobim was seven, his father left the family and died the following year.

Jobim showed a capacity for music at an early age. He enjoyed listening to his uncle, João Lyra Madeira, play Bach and Villa-Lobos on the guitar, and his mother, noting his interest, rented a piano and hired the German composer Hans Joachim Koellreutter to give her son lessons. Jobim later learned to play the harmonica and guitar, and was influenced by an eclectic variety of musical styles. He listened to samba, a rhythmic music that was popular in Ipanema night clubs, as well as classical composers like Debussy and Ravel, and later fell under the spell of Miles Davis and Gil Evans.

Jobim enrolled in architecture school but dropped out after a year. He worked briefly for an architect in the 1940s, but decided on a career in music after hearing Duke Ellington and other American jazz artists perform in the casinos of Rio de Janeiro. In the late 1940s he worked full time as a musician, playing piano in bars and developing his style. He was hired by the Continental recording company in 1952 and worked with Maestro Radames Gnatali, one of the noted arrangers of his time. During the 1950s Jobim also arranged for Odeon, a leading recording company in Brazil, and his career path seemed settled. A fortuitous meeting with diplomat and poet Vinícius de Moraes in 1956, however, opened up a new vista for Jobim. de Moraes asked Jobim and Luis Bonfa to write a score for his play, Black Orpheus, which was set during Rio's Mardi Gras and was based on the Orpheus legend. When Marcel Camus's film version of the play became an international success in 1959 and won an Academy Award for best foreign film, Jobim and Bonfa's soundtrack introduced Brazilian music to the world.

At a Glance . . .


Born Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim on January 25, 1927, in Rio de Janeiro; died on December 8, 1994; son of Jorge Jobim and Nilza Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim; married Ana Lontra (second marriage); children: Elizabeth and Paulo (first marriage), Joao Francisco (second marriage).


Career: Performed in night clubs in Rio de Janeiro, late 1940s; hired by Continental recording company, 1952; collaborated with Luis Bonfa on score for Black Orpheus, 1957; formed a musical partnership with João Gilberto, late 1950s; performed at Carnegie Hall, 1962; recorded first solo album, The Composer of the Desafinado Plays, 1963; worked with Gilberto and Stan Getz on Getz/Gilberto, 1964; recorded Wave, 1967, Stone Flower, 1970, and Urubu, 1975; wrote music for four movies, 1970s and 1980s; performed at Carnegie Hall, 1985; released Antonio Brasileiro, 1994.


Awards: Grammy Award, 2001; Latin Hall of Fame.

Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim: 1927-1994: Musician - Bossa Nova Became U.s. Sensation [next]

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