His professional debut was at 17 as João Donato's saxophonist. Next he moved to São Paulo, where he worked with Luís Loy. Returning to Rio in 1963 Meirelles formed the Copa 5, which debuted at the Bottle's Bar, at the Beco das Garrafas (Rio). In that same year he wrote the arrangement for the original recording of "Mas Que Nada," Jorge BenJor's first hit.
From 1964 to 1975 he worked as an instrumentalist, conductor, arranger and producer at Odeon. In 1965 and 1967 he wrote several arrangements for different editions of the historic Festival Internacional da Canção (International Song Festival, TV Globo), having performed in 1966 in the Berlin Jazz Festival with Edu Lobo, Rosinha de Valença, Dom Salvador and Sérgio Barroso. In 1967 he participated in the inauguration of the Canecão room (Rio), working there during the entire year. From 1969 to 1971 Meirelles was EMI-Odeon's (São Paulo) A&R, where he performed regularly with the Luís Loy Quinteto.
Back to Rio in 1971 he resumed his work at EMI-Odeon until 1975. Moving then to Mexico, he was hired by the Gimmicks of Sweden, with which he moved to Europe, where he lived for several years (France, Sweden and Monte Carlo), working with several orchestras (like Aimée Barelli's). In ostracism in the 80s and 90s, he was rediscovered by journalist José Domingos Raffaelli in 2000, who invited him for the jazz sessions held at the bar of the Hotel Novo Mundo (Rio de Janeiro), which brought him to the instrumental music forefront again. In 2001 the LP O Som was reissued in CD by Dubas Música and O Novo Som was re-masterized. Fast forward and in 2005 JT Meirelles strike again with the most innovative album samba jazz has ever seem. ESQUEMA NOVO is here and all you got to do is enjoy the melodies… Meirelles worked throughout his career with instrumental groups like Azymuth, Hermeto Pascoal's, Helvius Vilela's, Antônio Adolfo's and João Donato's, having also backed vocalists/instrumentalists Jorge Ben, Agostinho dos Santos, Silvinha Telles, Edu Lobo, Rosinha de Valença, Maria Bethânia, Simone, Francis Hime, Fafá de Belém, Miúcha, Roberto Carlos, Flora Purim, Wagner Tiso, Leny Andrade, Os Cariocas, Fagner, Clara Nunes, Emílio Santiago, Alcione, Maria Bethânia, Pery Ribeiro, Nara Leão, Gilberto Gil, Tito Madi, Wilson Simonal, Geraldo Vandré, Taiguara, Dóris Monteiro, Chico Buarque, and Lisa Ono, among others.
As a producer he worked for Gonzaguinha, Peri Ribeiro, Tito Madi, Ed Maciel, Rosa Maria, Severino Araújo's Orquestra Tabajara and Sexteto Radamés Gnattali. NOTE: Copa 5 in 1963 were (Manuel Gusmão, bass; Luís Carlos Vinhas, piano; Dom Um Romão, drums; and Pedro Paulo, bass), J. T. Meirelles recorded with the group the landmark LP O Som in 1964, signing the arrangements for the tracks Quintessência, Solitude, Blue Bottle's,"Nordeste, Comtemplação, and Tânia, all written by himself. The next album, O Novo Som, brought a new formation with Eumir Deodato (piano), Edson Machado (drums), Roberto Menescal (guitar), Waltel Branco (electric guitar) and Manoel Gusmão (bass), with the originals works O Novo Som, Solo and Serelepe. Read more on Last.fm.
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