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Rão Kyao

Updated on December 13, 2009
Rao Kyao Festival of World Music in 2007, in Porto Covo, Portugal
Rao Kyao Festival of World Music in 2007, in Porto Covo, Portugal
Rao Kyao Festival of World Music 2007, in Porto Covo, Portugal
Rao Kyao Festival of World Music 2007, in Porto Covo, Portugal

Rão Kyao (born João Jorge Ramos, Lisbon, 1940) is a Portuguese musician and composer. Rão Kyao is famous for his performances of the bamboo flute and saxophone.


Rão Kyao spent part of his childhood in Macau where his father was in military service. This experience resulted in the stage name of oriental inspiration Rão Kyao, adopted in 1975. He was a student of the Military College in Lisbon.

Rão Kyao made his first tenor saxophone live performance at 19 years of age, having been at that stage inspired by Jazz. In addition to playing in numerous clubs in Lisbon, he has also performed abroad in countries like Denmark, Spain, France and the Netherlands. He settled in France until April 25, thus avoiding the Colonial War.

At the end of the 1970s he went to India, trying to rediscover the missing link between the Portuguese music and the music of the East. During this period, he studied Indian music and the bansuri flute. This experience resulted the album Goa in 1979, and new sounds in his work.

In 1983, he released the album Fado bailado (Fado dance), which became the first Portuguese album to reach platinum status. In this work, he performed several works of Amalia Rodrigues, in collaboration with a master of the Portuguese guitar (guitarra) Antonio Chainho.

The following year, he released the album Estrada da luz (Highway of light), which would make him famous nationally for his performances with the bamboo flute.

In 1996 he returned to fado, recording the live album Viva o fado (Long live fado).

In 1999, he composed the official anthem of the ceremony of the handover of Macau, and in that context he recorded the album Junção (Junction), with the Macao Chinese Orchestra. The theme of Macau would return to his work in 2008, the album Inner Harbor, recorded in partnership with a Chinese performer Yanan.


  • 1976 - Malpertuis
  • 1977 - Bambu (Bamboo)
  • 1979 - Goa
  • 1980 - Live At Cascais
  • 1982 - Ritual (Ritual)
  • 1983 - Fado bailado (Fado Dance)
  • 1984 - Estrada da luz (Highway of Light)
  • 1986 - Oásis (Oasis)
  • 1987 - Danças de rua (Street Dance)
  • 1987 - O som mágico da flauta (The Magical Sound of the Flute)
  • 1989 - Viagens na minha terra (Journey Back Home)
  • 1992 - Delírios ibéricos (Iberian Delusions)
  • 1994 - Águas livres (Free Waters)
  • 1996 - Viva o fado (Long Live Fado)
  • 1997 - O melhor de Rão Kyao (The Best of Rão Kyao)
  • 1997 - Navegantes (Navigators)
  • 1999 - Junção (Junction)
  • 1999 - Melhor dos tempos (The Best of Times)
  • 2001 - Fado virado a nascente (East Facing Fado)
  • 2004 - Porto Alto
  • 2006 - Rão Kyao Tour Sete sóis sete Luas - Live (Rão Kyao Tour: Seven Suns, Seven Moons - Live)
  • 2007 - Mondego (Rão Kyao & The Classical Orchestra of Coimbra)
  • 2007 - Antologia 83/2001 (Anthology 83/2001) (2 CDs) published by Universal Music Portugal.
  • 2008 - Porto Interior (Inner Harbor) (Rão Kyao & Yanan)

Rão Kyao biography in Portuguese:


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