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Gilberto Gil carries out a fundamental role in the constant modernization process of Brazilian popular music. Partaking of this scene for more than 38 years, he has developed one of the most relevant and renown careers as a singer, composer and guitar-player in this field. Gil has had his albums released abroad since 1978, the year of his successful performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, recorded live. Every year he tours Europe, North America, Latin America and Japan with his contagious pop music spoken in Portuguese-Brazilian and international language.
Gilberto Gil was born in 1942 in Salvador, Bahia, one of the most traditional and original centers of music creation in Brazil and the world. Rhythms from the northeast of Brazil like the baião, apart from samba and bossa-nova were fundamental in his formation. Using them as a starting point, Gil forged his own music to which he incorporated rock, reggae, funk and rhythms from Bahia such as afoxé. Gil has tackled a wide variety of issues in his lyrics, pertinent to modern reality: from social inequality to the racial question, from African to Oriental culture, from science to religion, among others. The mastership with which Gil explores these subjects makes him one of the greatest Brazilian composer-lyricists.
Gil has importance to the culture of his country goes back to the 60's, when he and
Caetano Veloso created Tropicalism. Radically innovative in the music scene, the movement assimilated pop culture to national genres; deeply critical on political and moral levels, Tropicalism ended up being repressed by the authoritarian regime. Gil and Caetano were imprisoned and
In London, Gilberto Gil recorded an album in English for the local Philips. When he returned to Brazil, he began a series of anthological records in the 70's: "Expresso 2222", "Gil Jorge" (with Jorge Ben Jor), "Os Doces Bárbaros" (with the baianos Caetano, Gal Costa and Maria Bethânia) and a conceptual trilogy made up by "Refazenda" (of country extraction), "Refavela" (with rhythms from Jamaica, Nigeria, Rio and Bahia) and "Realce". The latter, recorded in Los Angeles, fixed his option for pop music, which would direct the outcome of his work in the 80's. In the 90's came "Parabolicamará", "Tropicália 2", (a celebration, with Caetano, of the 25 years of the Tropicalist movement), "Unplugged", (a collection of successes, recorded live for MTV), Quanta and Quanta gente veio ver, recorded live.
In the year 2000, Gil released an album with another Brazilian icon,
Milton Nascimento, called "Gil & Milton" and won a Latin Grammy Award for the music from the film "Eu, Tu, Eles" (Me, You, Them), released in the same year. Then came "São João Vivo", and he won one more Latin Grammy Award for the song "Esperando na janela." Gilberto Gil then released his CD, "Kaya N'Gan Daya", recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, along with a DVD recorded live in São Paulo. It's a refreshing review of Bob Marley's song. The two icons first came together when Gil wrote a Portuguese version of one of Bob Marley's biggest hit, "No Woman No Cry".
With 64 albums released, Gilberto Gil has twelve gold records, five platinum singles and three Grammy Awards. He has recorded with people like João Gilberto and the group
The Wailers. Live, he has sung with Stevie Wonder and with
Jimmy Cliff with whom he did many shows in 1980. Among artists that have recorded his work are João Gilberto, Elis Regina, Gal Costa,
Sérgio Mendes, Ernie Watts and Toots Thielmans.
For his work, Gilberto Gil was honored with the Knighthood of the Order of the Arts and Literature by the French Minister of Culture Jack Lang, and has also received many prizes in Brazil, where he is a nationally known personality. In the last ten years Gil has also become a man of action in extra-musical fields. He has been a councilman for Salvador and is involved in environmental and social projects to this day.
Gilberto Gil may be available for your next special event!
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Born: ..in Brazil
Born: ..in Bahia
Born: ..in Salvador
Born: Jun 26, 1942
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