On December 8, 1994, the musical world lost one of the most illustrious representatives of Brazilian sound art, Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, known worldwide as Tom Jobim, one of the mentors of bossa nova. Recognized for his musical excellence and refinement, he passed away at the age of 67 in New York, victim of a heart failure. His stay in the city was for treatment for bladder cancer.

Today in Brazil: The musician Tom Jobim dies

Born on January 25, 1927, in Rio de Janeiro, Tom Jobim received instruction in guitar and piano from the German professor Hans-Joachim Koellreutter. In the early 1950s, he performed at venues in Copacabana until he was hired in 1952 as an arranger by the Continental record label. It was during this period that his first compositions emerged, along with the recording of “Incerteza,” with Newton Mendonça, interpreted by Mauricy Moura. The notable partnership with Vinícius de Moraes began in 1956, when they scored the show Orfeu da Conceição. One of the play’s songs, “Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você,” became a hugely successful classic.

Along side Vinícius de Moraes, Tom composed “Garota de Ipanema,” one of the most emblematic Brazilian songs on the international scene. Other standout compositions by Tom Jobim include “Samba do Avião,” “Chega de Saudade,” “Corcovado,” “Wave,” and “Água de Beber.”

His international projection solidified with the album alongside Frank Sinatra, “Francis Albert Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim.” The record featured English versions of Tom’s songs (“The Girl From Ipanema,” “How Insensitive,” “Dindi,” “Quiet Night of Quiet Stars”). A profound scholar of music, Jobim continued to compose, blending jazz harmonies with typical elements of Brazilian music. From this phase emerged albums such as “Matita Perê” and “Urubu,” released in the 1970s, featuring songs like “Águas de Março,” “Ana Luiza,” “Lígia,” and “Ângela.”

The musician collaborated on albums with renowned artists such as Elis Regina, Miúcha, and Edu Lobo. Already celebrated, in 1987, he released “Passarim” accompanied by Banda Nova. Shortly after, in 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidade Nova de Lisboa/Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas. The following year, he was the theme of the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira’s plotline. In 1994, he released his final album, “Antônio Brasileiro.” Tom Jobim left behind a magnificent artistic legacy and had four children, two from his marriage to Thereza de Otero Hermanny and two with Ana Beatriz Lontra.

Matheus Araújo - Brazilian History
Matheus Araújo
Founder and Editor at Brazilian History | Website

Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "matheusaraujo.me" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.