Gilberto Gil

Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Gilberto Gil looms large in contemporary music history. Not only is he an accomplished writer, riddling his songs with clever wordplay while tackling topics as diverse as technology, philosophy, and romance, he's an engaging performer whose music encompasses an enormous swath of genres, from Brazilian bossa nova, samba, and baião to reggae, Afrobeat, and the Beatles. In the late '60s, he was instrumental in creating Tropicália, a cut-and-paste artistic philosophy that at the time merged traditional Brazilian music with rock 'n' roll, creating a template adopted decades later by post-modern artists worldwide. Fascinated with Bob Marley, Gil introduced Brazil to reggae, leading to the creation of an entire new hybrid genre, samba-reggae. Long a stellar pop icon in Brazil, he also immersed himself in politics, serving for more than five years (until 2008) as minister of culture under President Lula. Gil's latest album, Bandadois, vividly revisits high points in his 40-plus-year career in elegantly spare arrangements featuring only himself and his son Bem on guitar and percussion. There'll be a similar vibe here in what Gil has dubbed "The String Concert." Renowned Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, joining Gilberto and Bem, should add a distinct dimension of his own to Gil's work. With Brazil Com S.
Sat., April 3, 8 p.m., 2010

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