Is music universal? Gilberto Gil has modernized – and continues to modernize – Brazilian popular music. From musical revolutionary to international pop star to beloved statesman, Gilberto Gil has lived a life worthy of a Hollywood thriller. As a founding member of Brazil’s Tropicália movement, Gil and fellow Bahians Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa radically reinvented Brazilian popular music in the mid-60s by combining Beatlesque psychedelia, art rock, and Brazil’s northeastern roots rhythms. Since returning to Brazil from his London exile in the early 1970s, Gil has held center stage as a charismatic performer and songwriter. With several dozen standards to his credit, he has been interpreted by just about every major Brazilian artist of the past four decades. In recent years Gil once again found inspiration in the joyful, upbeat accordion-driven forró style of music and dance, starting with his soundtrack to the award-winning 2000 film Me You Them. After serving as Brazil’s Minister of Culture from 2003-2008, he went on to explore classics by forró heroes Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro on his latest album, Fé Na Festa. Expect a party — and expect to dig deeply into Brazil’s musical heritage with one of the country’s major cultural icons.
This concert will be primarily performed in Gilberto Gil’s native Brazilian Portuguese.
Encore: Esperando Na Janela Madalena
Program Book [PDF]
Gilberto Gil Website
Gilberto Gil is a singer-songwriter powered by immense talent and curiosity and a unique musical ambassador powered by firm cultural conviction.
Rhythms from the northeast of Brazil, like the baião, apart from samba and bossa nova, were fundamental in Gilberto Gil’s musical 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. The path Gil has tracked to develop his unique way to express Brazilian culture is a long journey that encompasses João Gilberto and bossa nova, the Tropicalia movement, Hendrix, the Beatles, reggae, samba, and more through countless reinventions of the self and Brazilian music.
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 released more than 50 albums and has 12 gold records, five platinum albums, seven Grammys, and 5 million records sold.
Gilberto Gil returns after his debut UMS performance in Hill Auditorium in 2007.