Bossa nova precursor João Gilberto dies and leaves legacy to music
In July 6, singer and song writer João Gilberto died in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 88. The musician had been facing health problems for a while and left his legacy to the Brazilian music and also three descendants: João Marcelo, Bebel and Luisa. Born in Bahia, the artist was one of the creators of bossa nova and released the iconic trilogy composed of albums “Chega de saudade” (1959), “O amor, o sorriso e a flor” (1960) and “João Gilberto” (1961), which showed the new music genre to the entire world. Afterwards, in the years of 1976-1977, João Gilberto released another remarkable authorial album entitled “Amoroso”, recorded in the United States.
At the age of 16, the artist decided to drop out of school to focus on the music universe. Some years later, he went to Rio de Janeiro, where he was a member of the music group called Garotos da Lua for two years. Next, he started his solo career, but unsuccessfully. That’s when João Gilberto realized that singing lower and keeping the rhythm would be ideal for his voice, so he created a new music style, which fascinated famous artists such as Tom Jobim, who saw in the new style a potential to make samba more modern and showed to João Gilberto the song “Chega de saudade”, his collaborative work with Vinicius de Moraes.
Aiming at disseminating bossa nova abroad, in 1962 the Brazilian government sponsored a show at the Carnegie Hall, in New York, which had the participation of João Gilberto. Afterwards, the genre precursor recorded the album “Getz/Gilberto” with American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz. That was one of the top selling albums in 1964, with 2 million copies sold, won four Grammy awards and resulted in a tour in Europe, Mexico and the United States.
Listen to João Gilberto’s songs here: