As a composer, João de Aquino had his songs recorded by Clara Nunes, Elza Soares, Clementina de Jesus, Marlene, Aldir Blanc, Marisa Gata Mansa, Paulo César Pinheiro, and several other top artists. Also a noted instrumentalist at the guitar, he recorded nine LPs abroad, along with his Brazilian ones. Aquino played several times in Europe and in the U.S., where he performed several times as a soloist at the Madison Square Garden. Aquino also worked as musical director for major TV shows like Fantástico and Brasil Pandeiro (TV Globo) and wrote the soundtrack of the soap opera Dona Beija (TV Manchete). As a producer, Aquino received several gold records for the albums in which he worked for Leny Andrade, Pery Ribeiro, Carlos Cachaça, Candeia, Monarco, Simone, Elza Soares, Carmem Costa, Roberto Ribeiro, Dicró, Jorginho do Império, and Zezé Motta. In 1964, Aquino wrote "Viagem," with Paulo César Pinheiro, which would become a classic with more than 60 recordings after Marisa Gata Mansa recorded it in 1972 as a single and, in the next year, for her debut LP of the same name. In 1969 he participated in the III Festival Internacional da Canção/FIC (International Song Festival) with "Sagarana" (with Paulo César Pinheiro), performed by Maria Odete. In 1974, Paulo César Pinheiro recorded his LP Paulo César Pinheiro with "Viagem" and "Sagarana." Aquino then toured U.S. and Canada with the show Festa Brasil together with Simone and the group Viva Bahia, directed by Hermínio Bello de Carvalho. In 1975, Roberto Ribeiro recorded "Molejo" (with Hermínio Bello de Carvalho) on his homonymous LP. In 1977, Clara Nunes re-recorded the composition "Sagarana" for her LP As Forças da Natureza. The next year, Aquino recorded his LP Terreiro Grande. In 1980, Elza Soares recorded "Cobra Cainana" (with Hermínio Bello de Carvalho). In 1982, Clementina de Jesus, Elza Soares, Marlene, and Hermínio Bello de Carvalho recorded his "Patuá" (with Carvalho) on the LP Hermínio Bello de Carvalho. In 1996, Aldir Blanc included "Canário da Terra" (Aquino/Blanc) for his CD 50 Anos. In 1998, Aquino was the musical director and guitarist of the CD Eterna Chama/Candeia, a tribute to Candeia. In 1999, Aquino accompanied Dorina in several shows in Rio. In the 1990s, Aquino arranged Luís Melodia's "Vale Quanto Pesa" for the recording by the Barão Vermelho. Marquinhos de Oswaldo Cruz's 2000 album Uma Geografia Popular included "Maria de Todas as Graças" (Aquino/Oswaldo Cruz).