Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927–1994), Pianist, Singer and Composer


The world needs music and Antonio Carlos Jobim helped deliver it. The Brazilian songwriter, singer, composer and musician produced music in the bossa nova style, and while best known in Brazil, he did play internationally. While Antonio Carlos Jobim is no longer with us today, his music lives on, one of which is Garota de Ipanema, or “The Girl from Ipanema,” which is one of the most recorded songs of all time (it has been recorded nearly 250 different times). As his music lives on, so to does the spirit he offered to all of his listeners and fans from around the world.

Who They Were

Antonio Carlos Jobim was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to a middle-class family. His father was a diplomat and writer who also worked for the local newspaper. However, while middle class, his family was rather prominent as his great grand uncle was the physician for Emperor Dom Pedro II before coming over to South America. His parents separated when he was just an infant and he moved with his mother to Ipanema, which Antonio Carlos Jobim would go to base his song after.

Antonio Carlos Jobim would listen to popular Brazilian music of the 30s, classical compositions from the likes of Claude Debussy and he also took a liking to jazz. He learned through a variety of teachers and he started to pen his own music after working with Vinicus de Morases, a poet and diplomat in the area. He didn’t truly start to take off with his music career though until he started to work with Stan Getz, an American jazz saxophonist. The two of them would eventually go on to release an album together in the 60s.

What They Did

Antonio Carlos Jobim first released his music to the public in the mid 1950s, although it took the meeting with the American jazz saxophonist to help it take off. He needed the well known name on his album to get it out there and to make a splash, especially in the United States. He went on to record The Girl from Ipanema”. The combination album between him and Stan Getz eventually won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumentation and for the Best Engineering Album. His song “Girl From Ipanema” won the Grammy for Record of the Year.

Right after finishing his final album Antonio Brasileiro, doctor’s discovered he had a bladder tumor. However, he suffered cardiac arrest and died in 1994.

What Made Them Famous

While being a musician did help Antonio Carlos Jobim make a name for himself, it is his song “Girl From Ipanema” that continues to be what has since lived on. With so many renditions and recordings of it, this is a song that is going to live on for decades to come (if not forever). While he has produced many albums and songs, this by far is his most popular and the one that most everyone knows Antonio Carlos Jobim for.