Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York City), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian composer, arranger, singer, pianist/guitarist and one of the primary forces behind the creation of bossa nova, and its subsequent global popularity.
Jobim's compositions, known for their exquisite melodies and harmonies, have been performed by numerous notable performers both within Brazil and internationally. Key collaborators and interpreters of Jobim's music include João Gilberto, (who is often credited along with Jobim as a co-creator of bossa nova), Elis Regina, Sergio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Frank Sinatra.
Jobim's musical roots were planted firmly in the works of Pixinguinha, a legendary musician and composer who, in the 1930s, began the development of modern Brazilian music. Jobim was also influenced by the music of French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy and by jazz music.
Jobim found prominence in Brazil when he teamed up with poet and diplomat Vinicius de Moraes to provide the music for the play Orfeu de Conceição (1956). The most popular song from the show was Se todos fossem iguais a você (Someone to Light Up My Life). Later, when the play was turned into a film, French producer Sacha Gordine didn't want to use any of the existing music from the play. Gordine asked de Moraes and Jobim for a new score for the film Black Orpheus (1959). De Moraes was at the time away in Montevideo, Uruguay working for the Itamaraty (the head office of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and so he and Jobim were only able to write three songs, primarily over the telephone (A Felicidade, Frevo,and O Nosso Amor).
This collaboration was successful and de Moraes went on to pen the lyrics to some of Jobim's most popular songs. The arranger/conductor/composer Claus Ogerman has arranged many of Jobim's memorable tunes. Jobim acquired international fame with the release of the Grammy Award-winning album Getz/Gilberto (1963), featuring the international hit "The Girl from Ipanema" sung by Astrud Gilberto. Jobim composed many other acclaimed albums since (see list below).
Various tributes have been paid to Jobim and his body of work. For example, American jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra prominently featured Jobim's songs on their albums Ella Abraça Jobim (1981) and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), respectively. Other relatively recent works such as Wave: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook (1996) included performances by the likes of Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Toots Thielemans.
Jobim is recognised the world over as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He has been musically productive right up to his death in December 8th 1994. His last album, Antonio Brasileiro, was released posthumously soon after.
Jobim was buried in the Cemitério São João Batista in Rio de Janeiro. The Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro has its name appended in his honour.
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