Airto Moreira

Airto Moreira (born Aug. 5, 1941) is a Brazilian vocalist and percussionist, married to vocalist Flora Purim since 1967. The couple featured in the original lineup of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, appearing on the 1972 album that launched the name and its 1973 followup Light as a Feather. As a solo artist, Moreira released 10 solo albums between 1970 and 1979 on Buddah, CTI, Arista, and Warner.

He was born Airto Guimorvan Moreira in Itaiópolis, Brazil, and raised in a family of folk healers in Curitiba. As a small child, he would make vigorous body movements and play percussion on the floor whenever songs came on the radio.

Moreira took up percussion and won his first talent contest at age six. At 13, he started doing paid engagements as a percussionist and singer in local bands. He moved to São Paulo at age 17 and gigged regularly on the city’s nightclub circuit.

In 1963, Moreira earned one of his earliest recording credits (as Airto Guimorvã) on an album by Antonio Guimarães. He then formed the Sambalanço Trio with bassist Humberto Clayber. They released the album Vol. 1 on Som Maior in 1964. After the arrival of keyboardist Hermeto Pascoal, they became the Sambrasa Trio and released Em Som Maior in 1965. During this period, Moreira also played on albums by Geraldo Cunha, Raulzinho, Sansa Trio, and Octeto De César Camargo Mariano.

In 1967, Moreira and Pascoal formed Quarteto Novo and issued a self-titled album on Odeon. That year, he married singer Flora Purim. Seeking refuge from their country’s political turmoil, they fled to New York City.

In 1969, the couple performed on the albums Moondreams by Walter Wanderley (CTI) and How Insensitive by Duke Pearson (Blue Note). The following year, they backed Pascoal on his debut solo album Hermeto.

Moreira signed to Buddah and debuted as a solo artist with the 1970 album Natural Feelings.


  • Natural Feelings (1970)
  • Seeds on the Ground (1971)
  • Free (1972)
  • Fingers (1973)
  • Virgin Land (1974)
  • In Concert (1974 • Deodato / Airto)
  • Identity (1975)
  • Promises of the Sun (1976)
  • I’m Fine. How Are You? (1977)
  • Touching You…Touching Me (1979)
  • Däfos (1983 • Mickey Hart, Airto & Flora Purim)
  • Latino: Aqui se puede (1986)
  • Three-Way Mirror (1987 • Airto Moreira, Flora Purim & Joe Farrell)
  • Samba de Flora (1988)
  • Struck by Lightning (1989)
  • The Other Side of This (1992)
  • Killer Bees (1993 • Airto Moreira and the Gods of Jazz)


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