Joao Donato death: Brazilian pianist passed away at 88, cause of death and obituary

Joao Donato cause of death. (Source: Facebook)
Joao Donato cause of death. (Source: Facebook)


Joao Donato, a pianist, arranger, singer, and composer who passed away at the age of 88, was a legendary figure with a vast musical sphere. For decades to come, Joao’s influence and legacy will be part of the development of music. Keep reading to know more about Joao Donato and his cause of death in detail.


Who was Joao Donato?

Rio Branco-born pianist Joao Donato de Oliveira Neto played jazz and bossa nova. Before performing with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, he originally collaborated with Altamiro Carrilho.

Donato was a professional accordionist at the Sinatra-Farney Fan Club at the age of 15.

Donato and Altamiro Carrilho made their debut recording together. He soon joined a group playing in Brazilian nightclubs, fronted by violinist Fafá Lemos. He released his debut solo album in 1953. He was the bandleader of the bossa nova group Os Namorados, which sang songs like “Tenderly.”

Joao Gilberto joined Donato in the ensemble Garotos da Lua as the pianist and arranger. He joined the Lus César Orchestra and the band Os Copacabanas after relocating to So Paulo. He recorded an album for Odeon in 1956, with Antonio Carlos Jobim serving as producer. “Minha Saudade” was co-written by Donato and Gilberto, and it was a success. In a 1970s interview, Gilberto claimed that Donato was the source of bossa nova’s inspiration.

When patrons complained that they couldn’t dance to his music, nightclub employment fell. The music was challenging for musicians to learn, too. He left Brazil when his friend Nanai, a former Os Namorados member, offered him employment in the United States because he was unable to find employment there.

He collaborated on recordings with Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Astrud Gilberto, Bud Shank, and Cal Tjader throughout the ensuing ten years. His greatest hits included Sergio Mendes’s “A R” and “Caranguejo.” Together with jazz bassist Ron Carter, he released his 1970 album A Bad Donato. He directed the music for Gal Costa in 1974.

At the 10th Latin Grammy Awards in 2010, Sambolero, credited to the Joao Donato Trio, won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album.

For his album Donato Elétrico, he received a Latin Grammy Award nomination in 2016 for Best Instrumental Album.

The album was also recognized as the 11th best Brazilian album of 2016 by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone. One of the top albums of 2017 according to Rolling Stone Brazil was his, Sintetizamor.

How did Joao Donato die?

Joao Donato, a pianist, arranger, singer, and composer, passed away at 3:20 am on Monday, July 17, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the age of 88.

The cremation will take place in the Memorial do Carmo, and the wake will be held at the Rio Municipal Theatre. The announcement of schedules is pending.

The composer’s team posted the following in a message on social media:

“Joao Donato went there to play his lovely melodies today, making the dawn of composers’ heaven sweeter. Now, his happiness and chords live on forever in the cosmos.”


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A post shared by João Donato (@joao_donato)

One of the leading figures in bossa nova, Joao Donato collaborated with Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Vincius de Moraes, and others. He has pushed the limits of MPB during his more than 70-year career by blending jazz, samba, and other Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

He developed his career and contributed to the history of music in the nation with pieces that were heard all over the world in Rio de Janeiro.

Joao Donato recognized music in all things and created something new by experimenting with samba, bossa nova, jazz, and forró rhythms. The legacy and influence of Joao will endure forever in the development of music.


Joao Donato cause of death

We’re sorry to have to inform you that Joao Donato has passed away. The artist had a history of medical issues and recently had treatment for a lung infection.

As said by his son Donatinho, he was admitted to the hospital in June.

Danatinho, son of the composer, said in June 30th,

“I came to spend a few days to pamper Big Donato, now that he was released from the hospital. He asked me to cook one of his favorite dishes, Spagabola (better known as Spaguetti a Bolognesa).”

Due to health issues, Donato postponed his participation in a performance with musician Joyce Moreno in Los Angeles, California, about a month ago.

On July 6, he underwent intubation at Casa de Sade So José in Humaitá, where he was being treated for pneumonia. Unfortunately, Brazilian musician Joao Donato passed away at the age of 88 due to health problems.


Tributes to Joao Donato

After learning of the composer Joao Donato’s passing on Monday, November 17, his friends and coworkers paid tribute to him.

Musician Henrik Muerkens wrote: “João Donato has passed away at age 88. He was my by far biggest influence when it comes to my Brazilian side. While Jobim was the Cole Porter of Brazil, Donato was their Horace Silver, gifted with the genius of writing songs that are simple, perfect to play over, innovative at the time, and impossible to get out of your ear. On top of that he added a new groove to Brazilian music, the Donato half Latin jazz/ half Brazilian montuno. Years ago I wrote a tune in his honor called Joe’s Donut…..😎RIP Maestro, you did well.”

Guitarist Neff Irizarry wrote: “RIP Joao Donato Thank you for the music, endless inspiration, and for the opportunity to play with you at the Brazilian Embassy in Helsinki 🙏Segue em paz.”

Drummer Reinaldo Santiago wrote: “Many masters and people who contributed to a better world are leaving us like this quickly and without warning, @joao_donato is part of my trajectory, his simple way of composing and his songs that are standards of Brazilian music, will stay here teaching still a lot of people, Thanks Donato 🖤



One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died. We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends. May he rest in peace.

Kindly use the comment box below to honor the death of Joao Donato by leaving a tribute.


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