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Eumir Deodato

Eumir Deodato

One of Brazil’s most prolific artists, Eumir Deodato has racked up 16 platinum albums, won a Grammy (and been nominated for two more), and sold over 250 million records in the USA alone. After moving from Rio de Janeiro to New York in the late 60’s, Deodato would work as a composer, arranger, producer and keyboardist on nearing 500 records, under his own name and with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, Frank Sinatra, Kool & The Gang, George Benson, Tom Jobim and Bjork, to name a just a few.

But before that, a young Deodato had already cemented his status in Brazil as one of the country’s top musical minds. In the mid-sixties, when he wasn’t working with the likes of Roberto Menescal, Joao Donato, and Marcos Valle, Deodato recorded a string of albums with his lesser known instrumental samba jazz and bossa nova ensemble Os Catedráticos.

After the release of the third and final Os Catedráticos LP Ataque, Deodato moved to New York City in 1967 where he took his career to the next level , where recording a string of hugely successful records under his own name for the iconic soul-jazz label CTI. Hits from the era include the David Mancuso favourite 'Whistle Bump', his orchestral jazz-funk take on Strauss' 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' which won him the Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and the disco classic 'Night Cruiser'. 

Other notable moments from an extraordinary recording and performing career includes producing the Kool & The Gang's classic (albeit a ubiquitous one) 'Celebration', and arranging several tracks from Bjork's seminal Post album. Deodato also boasts an impressive 395 credits on the sample archiving website WhoSampled. The likes of Black Eyed Peas, Fatboy Slim, J Dilla, Souls of Mischeif, Shabazz Palaces, Moodymann, and Rick Wade have all made good use of the Deodato sound. One last fun fact: Justin Bieber is soon to be Eumir's Grandson in law.