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The Music of Helio Delmiro

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Hélio Delmiro was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. He's an extremely well known, influential and highly respected musician among professional guitarists in Brazil and around the world, although the general public does not seem to recognize his name as he would deserve. Hélio started playing the guitar when he was just 5 and performing professionally when he was around 14. He's a guitarist that has influenced other musicians like Guinga and Marco Pereira, just to name a few.


Hélio Delmiro is present on over 200 LPs and CDs of countless and varied singers like Elis Regina, who is considered to be best Brazilian female singer ever, and Sarah Vaughan. One important thing to be noticed is that Hélio was more than just a guitarist. He plays both electric and acoustic guitars with equal proficiency and is also a gifted arranger & harmonizer. He's equally comfortable with big bands or simply playing his guitar and accompanying a singer as well as improvising solos.

While his solo discography is scarce, some of his recordings became milestones in Brazil, like Samambaia, recorded with pianist César Camargo Mariano. His discography mixes a lot of different styles that range from some Jazz standards to his owm compositions and arrangements of well known Brazilian songs.

Hélio's music is very diversified and unfortunately we'll have to narrow our focus to his acoustic works.

Chama (Hélio Delmiro) — This is a beautiful, happy and sensitive choro with a jazzistic flavor and a very sophisticated harmony.

Emotiva No 1 (Hélio Delmiro) — A romantic Brazilian waltz, again with very sophisticated harmonic ideas and a delicate melody. As the title suggests, Hélio wrote a series of "Emotivas".

Pro Baden (Hélio Delmiro) — This one piece is a samba written in homage to the the great Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell, with whom Hélio was friends with.

Milagre dos Peixes (Milton Nascimento) — This excerpt is actually part of a medley where Hélio and César Camargo Mariano play three songs written by Milton Nascimento.

Caçador de Mim (Sérgio Magrão e Luiz Carlos de Sá) — Hélio Delmiro improvises the solo on the electric guitar at the end of the song.


1979 Emotiva

1 Marceneiro Paulo (Hélio Delmiro)

2 Esperando (Hélio Delmiro)

3 Epistrophy (Thelonius Monk / Kenny Clark)

4 Body and soul (Eyton / Green / Heyman / Sour)

5 Pro Zeca (Victor Assis Brasil)

6 Emotiva nº 1 (Hélio Delmiro)

7 Tarde (Milton Nascimento)

8 Waltzin (Victor Assis Brasil)

1981 Samambaia (with César Camargo Mariano)

1 Samambaia (César Camargo Mariano)

2 Carinhoso (Pixinguinha - João de Barro)

3 Emotiva nº 4 (Hélio Delmiro)

4 Curumim (César Camargo Mariano)

5 Das Cordas (Hélio Delmiro)

6 Milagre dos Peixes (Milton Nascimento - Fernando Brant)

7 Choratta (César Camargo Mariano)

8 No Rancho Fundo (Ary Barroso - Lamartine Babo)

9 Ninhos (Hélio Delmiro)

10 Maria Rita (César Camargo Mariano)

1984 Chama

1 Folha morta (Ary Barroso)

2 Cerrado (Hélio Delmiro)

3 Ad Infinito (Hélio Delmiro)

4 Emotiva nº 3 (Hélio Delmiro)

5 Mulher rendeira (Zé do Norte)

6 Quarto minguante (Renata Montanari - Wanda Stefânia)

7 Tua (Hélio Delmiro)

8 Chama (Hélio Delmiro)

1984 Romã

1 Espada de Fogo (Hélio Delmiro)

2 Ad Infinito (Hélio Delmiro)

3 Inaiá (Rique Pantoja)

4 Paz no Coração (Hélio Delmiro)

5 Caravan (J. Tizol - I. Mills - D. Ellington)

6 Romã (Rique Pantoja)

7 Novo Tempo (Hélio Delmiro)

8 Só Saudade (Newton Mendonça - Tom Jobim)

9 Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kozma - Jacques Prevert - Johnny Mercer)

10 Carrousel (Hélio Delmiro)

1999 Symbiosis (with Claire Fischer)

1 My Old Flame (Johnston - Coslow)

2 Menina do Rio (Fischer)

3 Pro Baden (Hélio Delmiro)

4 Lago's (Hélio Delmiro)

5 Blues in F (Fischer)

6 Dois por Quatro (Hélio Delmiro)

7 Carrousel (Hélio Delmiro)

8 Pensativa (Fischer)

9 Donna (Fischer)

10 My Love (Fischer)

11 Esperando (Hélio Delmiro)

12 Amor em Paz (Jobim)

13 Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kozma - Jacques Prevert - Johnny Mercer)

14 Samba de uma Nota Só (Jobim)

2003 Violão Urbano

1 Violão Urbano (Hélio Delmiro)

2 Cacá e Bié (Hélio Delmiro)

3 Bolero (Hélio Delmiro)

4 Serôdia (Hélio Delmiro)

5 Rio Doce (Hélio Delmiro)

6 Catarse (Hélio Delmiro)

7 Desafeto (Hélio Delmiro)

8 Emotiva Nº 1 (Hélio Delmiro)

9 87 - Boca do Mato (Hélio Delmiro)

10 Lago's (Hélio Delmiro)

11 Lágrima Azul (Hélio Delmiro)

12 Íntima (Hélio Delmiro)

2004 Compassos

1 My Favorite Things (Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers)

2 Alabastro (Hélio Delmiro)

3 Witchcraft (Carolyn Leigh / Cy Coleman)

4 Ponteio (Edu Lobo / José Carlos Capinan)

5 Esperando (Hélio Delmiro)

6 Espada de Fogo (Hélio Delmiro)

7 'Round Midnight (Bernie Hanighen / Cootie Williams / Thelonius Monk)

8 TP (Hélio Delmiro)

9 O Morro Não Tem Vez (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)

10 Itapê (Bruno Cardoso)

11 Compassos (Hélio Delmiro)

12 Ilusão À Toa (Johnny Alf)

Below you can hear some samples of Delmiro's music.

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Helio Delmiro is one of the very few Brazilian musicians who have a solid understanding of Jazz and knows how to translate it to the nylon string guitar. Here's a video of him playing a jazz standard (All the Things You Are):

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