N.Y. goes Bossa Nova for historic Joao Gilberto show

Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:51pm EDT
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By Adriana Garcia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Brazil's Bossa Nova reaches 50 this year, one of its originators will play a concert at New York's Carnegie Hall -- the landmark venue that helped spread the rhythm across the world.

Joao Gilberto's syncopated guitar will ring out as part of the JVC Jazz Festival this Sunday to remind fans how the subtle and contained manner of singing and playing samba songs has transformed the Brazilian music forever.

"Bossa Nova is seen as the synonym of Brazilian music outside the country," said Brazilian critic Zuza Homem de Mello, who recently published a book about Gilberto, now 77.

De Mello is also the curator of an exhibit on the prominent musical movement to take place in Sao Paulo in July.

The trend officially started in 1958 with "Chega de Saudade," a song that would epitomize one of the most successful partnerships in Brazilian music, the tunes of Tom Jobim and the interpretation of Gilberto.

"Joao Gilberto was the voice of Bossa Nova, the composer was Antonio Carlos Jobim," Los Angeles-based Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes said recently.

Brazil was then living a decade of optimism and modernization, with a new capital, sound economic growth and a democratically-elected president, Juscelino Kubitschek, who became known as the "bossa nova president."

The new beat conquered young jazz-playing musicians in Rio de Janeiro and quickly became popular with the middle class.   Continued...