Antonio Adolfo

Pianist, arranger, producer and educator Antonio Adolfo grew up in a musical family in Rio de Janeiro (his mother was a violinist in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra), and began his studies at the age of seven. At seventeen he was already a professional musician. His teachers include Eumir Deodato and the great Nadia Boulanger in Paris. During the 60’s he led his own trio that participated in several Bossa Nova and Jazz shows in Brazil and toured with singers Leny Andrade, Carlos Lyra, Flora Purim, Wilson Simonal, Elis Regina and Milton Nascimento. Adolfo wrote tunes such as Pretty World (original Brazilian title: Sa Marina) that gained great success and have been recorded by such artists as Sergio Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert, Earl Klugh, Dionne Warwick, and others. He won International Song Contests (Rio – Brazil and Athens – Greece) on two occasions.

As a musician, arranger and record producer he has worked with some of the most representative Brazilian names, besides having released more than 25 albums under his name. As an educator, he has been teaching music, specially Brazilian music, throughout the world and has written several books (see list in the Educator’s section of this website). In 1985 Mr. Adolfo created his own school in Rio, Brazil, now with more than 1,300 students. His 2010 CD album, Lá e Cá/Here and There, follows the footsteps of 2007 live recording Antonio Adolfo e Carol Saboya Ao Vivo/ Live. In 2011 his CD Chora Baiao was released and became awarded by The Latin Jazz Corner. Antonio Adolfo’s recent CD “Finas Misturas“/Fine Mixtures has been acclaimed with great reviews and Jazz radio airplay. His CD Rio, Choro, Jazz…, as well as his piano solo album O Piano de Antonio Adolfo were nominated for the 2014 Latin Grammy Awards. In 2015, Adolfo had released a CD recorded in New York and Rio, with singer Carol Saboya and harmonicist/vibraphonist Hendrik Meurkes entitled Copa Village. In 2015 he was nominated in the Latin Grammy for his CD Tema, with only original compositions by him. In 2016, the great CD Tropical Infinito that was released in May, has also been nominated as Best Latin Jazz album for the 2016 Latin Grammy. And in 2017 and 2018, CD Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter was nominated both, Latin Grammy and Grammy, consecutively. In 2018, another album “Encontros – Orquestra Atlantica” has been release by Antonio Adolfo’s AAM Music, which was also recorded in Rio and is gaining great reviews and radio airplay, besides being nominated as Best Engineered album on 2019’s Latin Grammy. Recent releases include CD Samba Jazz Alley (2019) and Vamos Partir Pro Mundo (this one, with Brazilian vocalist Leila Pinheiro).

Performances and/or clinics

Here are some of Antonio Adolfo’s performances:

1968 – with Elis Regina – Olimpia (Paris, France)
1969 – with Elis Regina – Europe
1969 – Tour with his group (Lima, Peru)
1970 – several important performances with his group Brazuca in Brazil
1972 – Tour solo piano in Brazil
1978 – Projeto Pixinguinha Tour in Brazil
1979 – Projeto Pixinguinha Tour in Brazil
1987 – Free Jazz Festival (Rio, Brazil)
1988 – Free Jazz Festival (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
1989 & 1990 – several appearances in Los Angeles (Vine Street Bar & Grill, The Jazz Bakery, and many more)
1996 – IASJ in New York, US
1998 – IAJE, Atlanta, US
1999 – IASJ, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2005 – IAJE, Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Long Beach,US
2006 – IAJE, New York, US
2007 – Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, New York, US
2009 – Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, New York, US
2009 – South Florida Jazz (with Carol Saboya). Plantation, FL
2012 – South Florida Jazz (with Carol Saboya). Plantation, FL
2012 – St. Petersburg Jazz Festival, Florida, US
2013 – NYC: Jazz at Kitano, Zinc Bar. Florida: Jazziz Nightlife, Arts Garage. Brazil (Rio) Miranda, (Sao Paulo) Itau Cultural, (Belo Horizonte) Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil – Project name: Ernesto Nazareth 150 Anos, (Sao Paulo) SESC Instrumental.
2014 – St. Petersburg Jazz Festival
2015 – Show Arts Garage (DelRay Beach) and at the JEN Conference in SanDiego, with singer Carol Saboya.
2015 – Master classes and shows at the Broward College (FL), promoted by the Brazilian Music Institute, from Gainesville, FL. Show in Gainesville Florida
2015 – Show with harmonicist Hendrik Meurkens at The Triple Door, in Seatle, WA.
2015 – Show at Miami Jazz Cooperative.
2016 – Show with Hendrik Meurkens at South Florida Jazz.
2016 – Show at WDNA – Cafe Brasil 14th anniversary.
2016 – CD Release Show at Open Stage (MJC), Coral Gables, FL.
2016 – Show with vocalist Kenia during the Pittsburg Jazz Festival.
2016 Workshop and Concert at Kalos Music and Arts Center, in Aventura, FL.
2017 – Show Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim (Miami, FL) – participation with other artists.
2017 – CD Tropical Infinito is final nominee for the Brazilian International Press Awards – US.
2017 – Show at Blue Note Rio
2018 – Show at SESC 24 de maio – Sao Paulo, Brazil
2018 – Show at ADA International, in Sorocaba (Sao Paulo – Brazil)
2018 – Show at Blue Note, Rio
2019 – Show with singer Carol Saboya and quartet at Pinecrest jazz Festival (Miami, FL)


1969 – Rio’s International Song Contest – 2nd prize
1970 – Rio’s International Song Contest – 1st prize
1970 – International Song Olympiad (Athens, Greece) 2nd prize
1981 – Playboy Annual Brazilian Jazz Award
1989 – Brahma Extra Award – Best musicians from Brazil
1996 – Sharp Award (Brazil) – Best instrumental Composition
1998 – Sharp Award (Brazil) – Best Instrumental Arranger
2007 – International Brazilian Press Award – Best CD of Brazilian artist released in the US
2008 – Rival BR Award – honored
2009 – International Brazilian Press Award – contribution for education in the US
2011 – Latin Jazz Corner – Best Latin Jazz album, Best Brazilian Jazz album and Best pianist.
2013 – Brazilian International Press Award – for best show: (Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya) in 2012.
2014 – Brazilian International Press Award – for best show:(The Antonio Adolfo and Hendrik Meurkens Quartet) in 2013
2014 – Two albums nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards.
2015 – CD Tema nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in the Best Instrumental album category.
2016 – CD Tema – Best CD of 2015 – Brazilian International Press Awards.
2016 – CD Tropical Infinito nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in the Best Latin Jazz album category.
2017 – CD Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in the Best Latin Jazz album catego
2018 – CD Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter nominated for the Grammy Awards in the Best Latin Jazz album category.
2019 – CD Encontros – Orquestra Atlantica nominated for the LatinGrammy as Best Engineered album.


1964 – Antonio Adolfo and Trio 3-D (RCA/EMI)
1965 – Antonio Adolfo and Trio 3-D Convida (RCA/EMI)
1967 – Conjunto 3-D (COpacabana/EMI)
1969 – Antonio Adolfo e a Brazuca (EMI)
1970 – Antonio Adolfo e a Brazuca (EMI)
1977 – Feito em Casa (Artezanal)
1978 – Encontro Musical (Artezanal)
1979 – Viralata (Artezanal)
1980 – Continuidade (Artezanal)
1981 – Os Pianeiros (Artezanal)
1982 – Joao Pernambuco 100 anos
1988 – Cristalino (Som Livre)
1995 – Antonio Adolfo (Artezanal)
1997 – Chiquinha Com Jazz (Artezanal)
1999 – Puro Improviso (Artezanal)
2005 – Carnaval Piano Blues (Artezanal)
2007 – Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya Ao Vivo/Live (AAM Music)
2010 – Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya La e Ca/Here and There (AAM Music)
2011 – Chora Baiao (AAM Music)
2013 – Finas Misturas (AAM Music)
2014 – Rio Choro Jazz (AAM Music)
2014 – O Piano de Antonio Adolfo (Deck Discos)
2015 – Copa Village (with Carol Saboya and Hendrik Meurkens)
2015 – CD TEMA (AAM Music)
2016 – CD Tropical Infinito (AAM Music)
2017 – CD Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter
2018 – CD Encontros – Orquestra Atlantica
2019 – CD Samba Jazz Alley