João Roberto Kelly became famous as a composer of Carnival marches like the all-time classic "Cabeleira do Zezé" (with Roberto Faissal, recorded by Jorge Goulart), "Mulata Iê-Iê-Iê" (recorded by Emilinha Borba), "Colombina Iê-Iê-Iê," and "Rancho da Praça Onze" (with Chico Anísio, recorded by Dalva de Oliveira). As a samba composer, he had hits with "Boato" (recorded by Elza Soares), "Mais do que Amor" (recorded by Jamelão), and "Dor de Cotovelo" (recorded by Elis Regina). Other originals of his recorded include "Gamação," "Brotinho Bossa Nova," "Samba do Teleco-teco," "Só Vou de Balanço," and "Ciuminho."
Kelly began to play the piano by ear at 11, taught by his mother and grandmother. In 1957, he made his professional debut writing the musical score to the play Sputnik no Morro. Also as a composer of soundtracks, he debuted on TV in 1963, participating in the most important comedy shows. Kelly also recorded several albums as an interpreter of his originals. ~ Alvaro Neder~ Rovi