Elisio Donas

Session Musician - Piano/keys

Elisio Donas on SoundBetter

Session/Studio Musician, I record original Piano/Keyboards arrangements, working remotely (also write to Strings Ensembles). I'm one of Ornatos Violeta, one of the most important rock/cult bands of my country, Portugal. I'm also Musical Producer, Composer for all kind of purposes, toured and/or recorded with many of the most important Pt artists.

I´m a Musician, Composer and Musical Producer from Portugal, where I'm the pianist, keyboards player and one of the strings arrangements composers of one of the most important rock/cult bands in our country, Ornatos Violeta. I have also my personal project, called Gato Morto - our first album is going to be release in October and one of our special guests is Dana Colley, the saxophone player of Morphine, that plays in two of our songs.
I've played and toured, in this 30 years of professional musician, with some of the most famous and major bands and artists of the Portuguese Musical - and even recorded in songs with artists like brazilian Milton Nascimento (with Sérgio Godinho), for example. Also played and recorded with Gordon Gano from Violent Femmes (with Ornatos) and played live with brazilian Zeca Baleiro (with Sérgio Godinho).
Since 1998 I’m always, without excepcion, in every lists made by the specialized music media of "Best Portuguese Keyboards Players".
I have or worked in many albuns, with several artists, that reached SILVER, GOLD or even PLATINUM RECORD.
Now I'm working as Studio/Session Musician, recording remotely Piano and Keyboards Original Arrangements in my personal studio, and I'm loving it!.
This is my youtube professional channel - youtube.com/channel/elisiodonas2012
Give it a visit! :)

youtube.com/watch?v=kQjrbojsU2g ("Tempo de Nascer")

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.


Discogs verified credits for Elísio Donas
  • Denário
  • Gato Morto
  • Ornatos Violeta
  • Various
  • Turbojunkie
  • Turbojunkie
  • Ornatos Violeta
  • Sérgio Godinho, Jorge Constante Pereira
  • Ornatos Violeta
  • Moderados De Paranhos
  • Sérgio Godinho
  • Per7ume
  • Foge Foge Bandido
  • Denário
  • Ornatos Violeta
  • Ornatos Violeta
  • Per7ume
  • Teresa Aleixo
  • Gato Morto
  • Per7ume


  • English
  • Portuguese

Interview with Elisio Donas

  1. Q: How would you describe your style?

  2. A: I'm a rock musician. In the attitude, presence on stage, approach to the songs, and it was the rock music that made my career and me "known" in Portugal.

  3. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  4. A: Without thinking in it more than 2 seconds or with any hesitation, Paul McCartney. He is the biggest reference to me, till today and even from The Beatles. I don't think his career is perfect, but in the end of it, he's The One!

  5. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  6. A: I love to record organs/pads down under the piano arrangements, on a very low volume, just to give it a "body" without the listener even notice it. It's there but it doesn't appear to be at the first listening.

  7. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  8. A: Usually I work in/with songs, without a specific and claustrophobic type.

  9. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  10. A: I think my biggest "power" and quality are the melodies I bring to a song. They are my greatest quality and my best and greatest asset. Joining this to an harmonic work very influenced by my years of jazz studies and playing.

  11. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  12. A: I think I can bring a new and unexpected look to the music I'm going to work.

  13. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  14. A: There's no coincidence that some of my favourite bands used the same and, for me, the best musical producer of the last 25 years, Jon Brion. I love is work! His arrangements are perfect and with the highest musical and melodical quality possible. I love Fiona Apple, The Eels, Aimee Mann, Elliot Smith, Rufus Wainwright, Brad Mehldau, and they all worked at some point with Jon. And I love is original music also! And now for something tottally different, I know, I also love Nine Inch Nails, Blur, Paul McCartney of course.. His solo album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" (2005) Is absolutely beautiful and perfect! Also love Claude Bolling (his "Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano Trio", that I started listening and playing some "andamentos" very young boy, tottally determined my life, not only musically), Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Supertramp (I know, I know, sometimes questionable.. :)). But my great passion, without choosing one specific, are "songs". Love them, everything about them. A perfect song can change a person's life. And that is an incredible power. <3

  15. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  16. A: Well, I have many experience as studio musician (started recording professionally in 1994), both as musician of the project and all album or as "special" guest, by musicians that know and like my work, specially the one with my main band, Ornatos Violeta, of course. I think that my main characteristic is that I'm always very melodious, I like to use a different approach to the songs than my collegues usually do, I think. For example I don't use very much standard organ sounds unless the song really ask for it, I prefer unique sounds as pads (really love to use my Roland EG101 and my Akai 01v for that!). Usually record a lot of Piano arrangements, It's my prefered sound, really, and I use more medium/low octaves; love to double chords with low notes. Also love to use Wurlitzer sounds and I'm lucky, I have many good ones, I think. I also like very much, and do it a lot, to find the most special and that stand out melodic frases, both in the chorus as in the instrumental parts; I don't like "jazz solos" in songs, honestly.. :) , I prefer an orchestral aproach to the songs, every note I play in each song part is thought and planned, there's no improvisation anywhere, I always feel and analyse everything and like to think that I'm choosing the best notes for each specific part. Well, it's a work in progress, I think.. :)

Gato Morto - "Bílis"

I was the Composer, Piano and Keyboards Player, Musical Producer, Musical Arrangements Director in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • The Beatles
  • Fiona Apple
  • Blur
Gear Highlights
  • Roland XP-80
  • Roland EG 101
  • Akai SG01v
  • Kurweil PC 88 Mx
  • Akai S2000
  • Roland Sc7
  • Roland Juno Gi and more.
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More Samples