@ 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 hot site.
With 51 albums released, Gilberto Gil has 12 gold
records, 5 platinum albums, 7 Grammy’s and more than 4 million
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
A unique composer powered by immense talent and curiosity. A unique
musical ambassador powered by firm cultural conviction.