@ the Royal Festival Hall
19 November 2009
Click an image to enlarge.
Gilberto Gil carries out a fundamental role in the constant modernisation
process of Brazilian popular music. Partaking of this scene for
46 years, he has developed one of the most relevant and renown careers
as a singer, composer and guitar-player in this field. Gil has had
his albums released abroad since 1978, the year of his successful
performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, recorded
live. Every year he tours Europe, North America, Latin America and
Japan with his contagious pop music spoken in Portuguese-Brazilian
and international language.
Rhythms from the northeast of Brazil like the baião, apart
from samba and bossa-nova were fundamental in his 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.
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’s importance to the culture of his country goes back
to the 60’s, when he and Caetano Veloso created Tropicalism.
Radically innovative in the music scene, the movement assimilated
pop culture to national genres; deeply critical on political and
moral levels, Tropicalism ended up being repressed by the authoritarian
regime. Gil and Caetano were imprisoned and exiled.
Gil released many acclaimed recordings between 1974- 2004. In 2006,
the Biscoito Fino label re-released the álbum with the title
“Gil Luminoso – voice and guitar”, a CD that was
recorded in 1999 to be packaged with the book “Giluminoso
– A PoÉtica do Ser”, by Bené Fonteles.
The book was a homage to Gil with more than 50 lyrics by the songwriter,
photographs and a long statement from Gilberto Gil. The Gil Luminoso
tour, one of the most beautiful of his career, traveled to Europe
and the United States.
In2008, Gilberto Gil released “Banda Larga Cordel”,
reaffirming his irreversible engagement with the new rules and compasses
of the universe of bits and bytes – a theme that hás
fascinated him for more than 30 years – where Gil makes his
work widely available for webcasts, podcasts, cellcasts, etc. The
shows had warm invitation to photograph and film what one wants
and however much one wants. Backstage scenes from the tour were
posted on the Internet in diverse platforms from a specially created
With 51 albums released, Gilberto Gil has 12 gold records, 5 platinum
albums, 7 Grammy’s and more than 4 million records sold..
For his unflinching creative engagement in bringing to the world
the heart and soul of the Brazilian music, Gilberto Gil has been
honoured by several entities and personalities has also received
many prizes in Brazil and abroad as The Polar Prize in 2005.
A unique composer powered by immense talent and curiosity. A unique
musical ambassador powered by firm cultural conviction.