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Having started in music at eight, J. T. Meirelles studied composition and arranging at Berklee School of Music (Boston, Mass.). His professional debut was at 17 as João Donato’s saxophonist. Next he moved to São Paulo, where he worked with Luís Loy. Returning to Rio in 1963 Meirelles formed the Copa 5, which debuted at the Bottle’s Bar, at the Beco das Garrafas (Rio).

In that same year he wrote the arrangement for the original recording of “Mas Que Nada,” Jorge BenJor’s first hit. From 1964 to 1975 he worked as an instrumentalist, conductor, arranger and producer at Odeon. In 1965 and 1967 he wrote several arrangements for different editions of the historic Festival Internacional da Canção (International Song Festival, TV Globo), having performed in 1966 in the Berlin Jazz Festival with Edu Lobo, Rosinha de Valença, Dom Salvador and Sérgio Barroso.

In 1967 he participated in the inauguration of the Canecão room (Rio), working there during the entire year. From 1969 to 1971 Meirelles was EMI-Odeon’s (São Paulo) A&R, where he performed regularly with the Luís Loy Quinteto. Back to Rio in 1971 he resumed his work at EMI-Odeon until 1975. Moving then to Mexico, he was hired by the Gimmicks of Sweden, with which he moved to Europe, where he lived for several years (France, Sweden and Monte Carlo), working with several orchestras (like Aimée Barelli’s).


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