João Donato deserves a place among the legends of Brazilian music, alongside Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Dorival Caymmi, Ary Barroso, and select few others, yet his erratic career and experimentation with different music genres make him a challenge to classify. Asked how he would describe his own work, he says, “It’s my style of music, the way I think about [music]. I don’t even think about it, it’s just the way I do things. I don’t know if it even has a name.” Donato has finally received long overdue accolades for his contributions to date
In the early 1960s, Gary Bartz performed with Eric Dolphy and McCoy Tyner in Charles Mingus’s Jazz Workshop. He worked as a sideman with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln before joining Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. In 1968 he was a member of McCoy Tyner’s band Expansions.