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Eumir Deodato

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(Eumir) Deodato is a Brazilian-born artist, producer and arranger, primarily based in the jazz realm, but also known for eclectic melding of big band and combo jazz with varied elements of rock/pop, R&B/funk, Brazilian/Latin, and symphonic or orchestral music.

Born “Eumir Deodato Almeida” in 1943, he recorded under the stage name “Deodato” in the 1970s and 1980s.

He got his start by playing the accordion at age 12. Shortly thereafter, he started studying piano as well as orchestration, arranging and conducting.

His records can be categorized mainly as pop jazz or crossover jazz. His successes as an original artist (on keyboards) occurred mainly in the 1970s. Since then, he has produced or arranged for acts ranging from Kool & The Gang to Björk; from Eydie Gormet to k.d. lang.

His first album in the USA, Prelude, released in 1972, was of a big band Latin jazz style that immediately attracted a wide audience. His funky cover of Also sprach Zarathustra (originally by Richard Strauss) won the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and went No. 2 in the pop charts in the US and No. 7 in the UK. It was also covered extensively by the rock band Phish in their live performances and included in several of their live releases.

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