Dom Um Romão is an original stylist of the drums, an instrument in which he is able to evoke sounds of nature, adding much-appreciated overtones by the many artists to whom he has been associated. He also has developed an expressive solo discography.
Dom Um Romão became a professional in the late '40s, playing the drums at dance orchestras, later being hired by the Rádio Tupi's orchestra.
Dom Um Romão became Brazil's leading percussion ambassador in the United States when he moved to the U.S. in the mid-'60s, first working in Chicago with Oscar Brown Jr. and then touring internationally with Mendes and Brazil 66 from 1967-70.
Romao was the percussionist in Weather Report from 1971-74, after which he settled in New York. In 1977 he appeared on the album Percussion Profiles with Colin Walcott, Jack DeJohnette, Pierre Favre, Fredy Studer and David Friedman, and he also performed and recorded with the Swiss group Om.
In 1973, he released his first solo albums in the States: "I Sing the Body Electric", and "Spirit of the Times". In the same year, he toured with Blood, Sweat and Tears.
Romão presents listeners with a panoramic sampling of his homeland's music, drawing upon works by familiar composers like Jobim, Nascimento, and Baden Powell as well as his collaborators Celia Vaz (who arranged and conducted these sessions), guitarist Ricardo Peixoto, and trumpeter Claudio Roditi. The proceedings gain additional fire from the contributions of the irrepressible Sivuca, whose playing and singing is featured on several tracks.
Dom Um Romão died at age 79 following a stroke suffered during a recording session on July 24, 2005.