Gilberto Gil reveals himself for his 80th birthday

In a modest neighborhood of Salvador de Bahia, on June 26, 1942, Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira was born to a doctor father and a teacher mother. Eighty years later, the name of Gilberto Gil is undoubtedly the best known in Brazilian song. The musician, co-founder of the tropicalist current, is also known for his political commitment against the dictatorship (1964-1985) and within the left (he was Minister of Culture under Lula, from 2003 to 2008).

In 2021, he entered the Brazilian Academy of Letters, the Immortals of the country. Mid-June, shortly before his birthday, “he inaugurated a sort of virtual museum, produced in three languages [portugais, espagnol et anglais] by Google”, reports The globe.

Miracle tape

baptized “Gil’s Rhythm”, the project is the “first retrospective devoted to a living artist by Google Arts & Culture, and its launch was a surprise”, explains the carioca daily. The centerpiece is an album of nine songs, all previously unreleased (except for one, in English), recorded in New York in 1982. Gilberto Gil told the newspaper his satisfaction at finally being able to share this album, which he thought lost, forty years after changing his mind and canceling the release: “The rescue was made possible by the chance discovery of a cassette tape – an unfinished mix, which is the only surviving copy.”

Apart from these tracks with pop sounds (but which lacked “Brazilianness”, estimated the musician at the time, as he specifies in his text for Google), the project is a veritable mine of archives. Some “40,000 images, 140 videos and hundreds of digitized songs, in addition to texts that highlight the importance of the Bahian artist in various areas of Brazilian culture”, enumerates Globo.

A reality show and a tour

However, the octogenarian young man does not intend to rest on his laurels. This Friday, June 24, released on Amazon’s streaming platform, Prime video, At home with the Gil (“At home with the Gils”), a reality show “which shows the daily life of the family last year, during confinement in the house of the patriarch”, in the mountains, north of Rio.

The music giant, which claims “to be born to become a father”, had eight children by three different companions. Surrounded by his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he sets off, with his family, on a European tour, this June 26. Beginning in Germany, “Nos, a gente” offers four French dates during the summer.

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