Son of the important sambista Mano Décio da Viola, Jorginho do Império frequented the Império Serrano samba school from an early childhood. Parading at the Império each Carnaval, in 1999 do Império was the puxador (lead vocalist during the parade) of the samba-enredo "Uma Rua Chamada Brasil" (Arlindo Cruz/Carlos Senna/Maurição/Elmo Caetano). Along with his nationwide success, do Império has also toured Japan, France, Argentina, and Hong Kong.
After working as a sideman for Martinho da Vila, do Império started to develop his solo work. In 1971, he was appointed the Cidadão Samba (Citizen Samba of Rio de Janeiro). In the mid-'70s, he became a highly popular artist, selling an average of 300,000 copies of each of his albums, which had hits such as "Na Beira do Mar," "Viagem Encantada," "Dinheiro Vai, Dinheiro Vem," "Heróis da Liberdade" (Mano Décio da Viola/Silas de Oliveira), "Não Ligue Não" (Noca da Portela/Joel Menezes, on his LP Agora Sim..., 1978), "Pára Com Isso" (Alberto de Jesus/da Portela, on his LP Festa do Preto Forro, 1980), "Na Raça e No Peito" (da Portela/Sérgio Fonseca, on Alma Imperiana, 1984), and "Dádiva" (da Portela/Fonseca, on Festa do Samba, 1985). In 2000, do Império participated in the show Encontro Com o Samba at the Rio Sampa room (Rio de Janeiro).