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Joao Gilberto

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14.

By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved to Salvador, the capital of Bahia, where he sought to earn a living as a radio performer. While never finding major success as a solo artist on radio, he gained the attention of a member of the vocal group Garotos da Lua (Boys from the Moon), who performed regularly on Radio Tupi in Rio de Janeiro, and he was invited to join the group. Gilberto moved to Rio to replace the group's vocalist, Jonas Silva, whose subdued style displeased the group's artistic director. Ironically, Gilberto would later popularize a whisper-like vocal method highly reminiscent of Silva. Gilberto lasted only one year with Garotos da Lua. After showing up late or altogether missing several performances, the group fired him.

In 1955, Luis Telles, the leader of the traditional singing group Quitandinha Serenaders, with whom Gilberto had performed for a time, convinced Gilberto to move to Porto Alegre. From there, Gilberto moved to Diamantina, where he lived with his older sister, and her husband. There, Gilberto played music constantly, often practicing in the bathroom where the acoustics were best. It was in this environment that Gilberto developed his signature singing style, a quiet sound absent of vibrato that allowed him to most accurately set the tempo of his vocals to the rhythm of his guitar. In finessing his style, a variation on the traditional Brazilian samba, Gilberto incorporated the influences of several musical genres, both from Brazil and America.

Gilberto returned to Rio in 1956, where he renewed his acquaintance with musician and composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. In 1958, Gilberto recorded Jobim's composition "Chega de Saudade." Although Gilberto's intense demands in the studio significantly prolonged the recording session, the song was released on the Odeon label as a single along with "Bim-Bom" on July 10 of that year. While the record was not an immediate hit, it eventually gained widespread popularity and established bossa nova, which in English means "new wave," as an exciting new musical form. Gilberto released three albums in the bossa nova style over the next three years in his home country: “Chega de Saudade,” “O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor,” (Love, Smile, and the Flower); and “João Gilberto,” all on Odeon. He exhibited the same exacting standards for his live performances as for his studio recordings, refusing to play in clubs where audiences talked while he was on stage.

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Album Review

Joao Gilberto: João Gilberto

Read "João Gilberto" reviewed by William H. Snyder


Joao Gilberto's date of birth was June 10, 1931. Happy 90th to the co-creator of Bossa Nova, wherever his spirit is. After his divorce from Astrud, the vocalist on “The Girl From Ipanema," featured on Getz/Gilberto (Verve Records, 1964), Gilberto lived in Mexico for a couple of years, creating the impression of an unpredictable and impetuous artist. A pair of anecdotes survive from the early '70s. First, a concert organizer finds him playing for the staff at his ...

106
Album Review

João Gilberto: In Tokyo

Read "In Tokyo" reviewed by Russ Musto


For fans of Brazilian music all over the world, the voice of João Gilberto is as familiar as that of a father or trusted family friend. The vocalist/guitarist's signature soft, hushed delivery redefined the bossa nova style in Brazil in the '50s and initiated its popularity in the U.S. (through his collaborations with Stan Getz) in the '60s. Gilberto's almost monotone style of singing maintains a remarkable dynamism that is able to convey the full spectrum of human emotions, from ...

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Video / DVD

Backgrounder: João Gilberto, 1998

Backgrounder: João Gilberto, 1998

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

In the early spring of 2008, I planned to see João Gilberto in Boston. That is until he cancelled at the last minute. Gilberto had a reputation for such things throughout his career. Some I've interviewed have said he had agoraphobia—a psychological fear of being outside. Others have claimed he was hyper-finicky about things he wanted, especially regarding the sound system, and if he didn't get them, he was a no-show. My next opportunity to see him in concert came ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Joao Gilberto's birthday today!

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved ...

Video / DVD

João Gilberto: Buenos Aires, 1962

João Gilberto: Buenos Aires, 1962

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Between the release of João Gilberto in 1961 and Boss of Bossa Nova in 1963—and three weeks before the famed bossa nova concert at New York's Carnegie Hall on November 21, 1962—João Gilberto performed at Club 676 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But he wasn't alone. Traveling with him were Os Cariocas, a phrase that translates as the “guys from Rio de Janeiro." The Cariocas were a four-man pop vocal-harmony group that sang while accompanying themselves on instruments. Recently released on ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Joao Gilberto's birthday today!

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved ...

1

Music Industry

Bill Evans and João Gilberto

Bill Evans and João Gilberto

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Once upon a time there was a luxury department store called Barneys New York. The store first opened in 1923, but Barneys came into its own in the early 1980s, when a sizable number of baby boomers graduated from college and entered the Manhattan workplace. To make an impression and retain their individuality, the entry-level employees sought out trendy suits and ties, and dresses, shoes, jewelry and other items at Barneys with an Italian and Japanese twist. Fashion-forward design soon ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Joao Gilberto's birthday today!

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Joao Gilberto's birthday today!

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved ...

Obituary

João Gilberto (1931-2019)

João Gilberto (1931-2019)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

João Gilberto, whose chiffon-soft vocal covers of Brazilian colleagues' songs, his romantic guitar arrangements and intoxicating rhythms helped the bossa nova gain worldwide attention in 1959, died July 6. He was 88. The bossa nova had been played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 1957, when Antonio Carlo Jobim, Carlo Lyra, Sylvia Telles, Johnny Alf, Roberto Menescal and Luiz Bonfá played hotel lounges and small clubs. According to my interview with Carlos Lyra, this tight group of bossa nova composer-musicians ...

Obituary

Joao Gilberto Is Gone At 88

Joao Gilberto Is Gone At 88

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

The man often called the founding father of bossa nova, died today at home in Rio de Janeiro. Joao Gilberto was 88. Along with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto pioneered the form that became a phenomenon of popular music in the early 1960s. With varying degrees of authenticity, bossa nova was adapted by performers around the world. It sprang from traditions of Brazilian music that reached far into Brazil’s history and reflected aspects of American music that in the fifties and ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Jazz Musician of the Day: Joao Gilberto

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Joao Gilberto's birthday today!

Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father\'s wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14. By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved ...

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