Born: August 3, 1925 | Died: July 27, 2005 Primary Instrument: Percussion
Dom Um Romao - percussion (1925 - 2005)
A legendary name in bossa nova, and one of the premier drummers who introduced Brazilian percussion and rhythms into jazz, Dom Um Romão began his career playing drums at balls and cabarets in Rio De Janeiro at the end of the 40s. He also worked at Rádio Tupi supporting singers and formed, in the 50s, the group Copa Trio, playing at Beco das Garrafas in Copacabana.
In 1958 Romão participated in the recording of the record Canção do Amor Demais by Elizeth Cardoso, with musics by Tom Jobim and guitar by João Gilberto - the album is considered a landmark in bossa nova.
In the 1960s Dom Um Romao joined Sergio Mendes' jazz ensemble. His first album, Dom Um, came out in 1964. The next year he moved to the United States and continued to work with Sergio Mendes. He became more globally known in 1971, when he replaced Airto Moreira in the legendary fusion band Weather Report.
After signing with the Muse label, he released his first solo album in the United States in 1972, Dom Um Romão.” This album was well received and placed him in the top percussionists of the era. He promptly followed up with “Spirit of the Times,” in ’73, and “Hotmosphere,” in ’76.
By the 1980s he had relocated to Switzerland, yet in the 90s, he spent more time back in Brazil with recordings and workshops. During this period he released “Samba Da Rua,” (’90) and “Saudades,” then in 1997 he offered the much heralded “Rhythm Traveler.”
With the arrival of the new century, Romao went for a more eclectic and contemporary sound in “Lake of Perserverance.” (2001) This was a dramatic departure from his more Brazilian influenced outings.
He was one of the pioneers, along with Airto, in introducing small percussion to a broader range of music. Throughout his career, Dom Um Romão worked with such artists as Cannonball Adderley, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Helen Merrill, McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Astrud Gilberto, Walter Wanderley, Stanley Turrentine, Flora Purim, Luiz Henrique and Ithamara Koorax.
Dom Um Romão, percussionist extraordinaire, died July 27, 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, at age 79.