Astrud Gilberto - vocalist, recording artist, composer.
Astrud Gilberto, known as "The Girl from Ipanema" and often referred to as "The Queen of Bossa-Nova," is an artist with roots firmly planted in Brazilian music. Her music has become an interesting combination of the sensual rhythms of Brazil and American Pop and Jazz.
Born in the Northeast of Brazil, in the state of Bahia, one of three sisters of a German father and a Brazilian mother, Astrud grew up in Rio de Janeiro. She immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s, where she resides since then.
Astrud was first introduced to the World at large in 1964 through "The Girl From Ipanema," the Grammy-winning recording with Stan Getz and her then-husband João Gilberto (the father of Bossa Nova). The fact that Astrud seldom grants interviews made it possible for many untruthful versions on how her guest appearance in the Getz & Gilberto album came about to be printed here and there, such as that she was "discovered" by Creed Taylor, or by Stan Getz, or yet, by Jobim, when the only truth is that she was invited to participate in the album by João Gilberto, who has great admiration for her singing talents.
Astrud's recordings exposed the nations of the World to the sensuality of Brazilian music and to her unique vocal interpretations of American music, such as "The Shadow of your Smile," "It Might as well be Spring," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Look to the Rainbow" (from her album of the same title, with Gil Evans), "Love Story", etc...
Following the hit with "Ipanema" her recording career quickly took off. Her first solo effort, "The Astrud Gilberto Album" was an immediate best-seller and was itself nominated as album of the year. Her next albums were all chart-toppers and were released on a yearly schedule. Her talents were much in demand in other areas as well as she appeared in two motion pictures, "The Hanged Man" and "Get Yourself a College Girl" and also recorded the soundtrack for "The Deadly Affair" arranged by Quincy Jones. She made appearances in all of the popular US television shows of the time, and had TV specials built around her in Europe, Japan and Africa. For many years she was the voice of Eastern Airlines, having recorded award-winning commercials.
In the early seventies Astrud revealed another facet of her talents, her songwriting, which was introduced on the albums "Astrud Gilberto Now" (1972) and "That Girl From Ipanema" (1977). On the "That Girl from Ipanema" album Astrud recorded one of her songs, "Far Away" (with lyrics by Hal Shaper) as a duet with the legendary Chet Baker. As she has revealed in interviews, this was one of the most rewarding events of her career, since Chet has been one of Astrud's idols dating back to her teenage years. In 1976, one of her compositions, "Live Today" (co-written with Jerome Schur), received an award at the Tokyo Music Festival.