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João Donato Trio

Wednesday, April 4, at Nighttown.


While Antonio Carlos Jobim receives most of the glory as the chief mover behind bossa nova, there was another fellow on the Brazilian and American scenes: songwriter, pianist, and arranger João Donato.

Perhaps Donato was too good for mass appeal; his rhythmically powerful style was so influenced by modern jazz that he was virtually unemployable in his native Brazil (with many club owners dumping him in post-4 a.m. slots). Shortly after relocating to the States in the early '60s, however, Donato was embraced by the Latin-jazz crowd, eventually recording with Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, and Astrid Gilberto. And when he returned home in the early '70s, it was as a conquering hero, with Sérgio Mendes hitting big with several Donato songs.

Despite over 25 albums to his name, Donato, born in 1934, isn't slowing down. He released three albums in Brazil in 2006 and is currently touring the good ol' U.S. of A.

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