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Gilberto Gil Tickets

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Gilberto Gil Tour Overview

Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒiwˈbɛʁtu ˈʒiw]; born 26 June 1942), is a Brazilian singer-songwriter and politician, known for both his musical innovation and political activism. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil's Minister of Culture in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Gil's musical style incorporates an eclectic range of influences, including rock, Brazilian genres including samba, African music, and reggae.

Gil started to play music as a child and was a teenager when he joined his first band. He began his career as a bossa nova musician and grew to write songs that reflected a focus on political awareness and social activism. He was a key figure in the Música popular brasileira and tropicália movements of the 1960s, alongside artists such as longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso. The Brazilian military regime that took power in 1964 saw both Gil and Veloso as a threat, and the two were held for nine months in 1969 before they were told to leave the country. Gil moved to London, but returned to Bahia in 1972 and continued his musical career, while also working as a politician and environmental advocate.

About Gilberto Gil

Gil was born in Salvador and spent much of his childhood in Ituaçu. Ituaçu was a small town of fewer than a thousand people, located in the sertão, or countryside, of Bahia. His father, José Gil Moreira, was a doctor; his mother, Claudina Passos Gil Moreira, an elementary school teacher. As a young boy, he attended a Marist Brothers school. Gil remained in Ituaçu until he was nine years old, returning to Salvador for secondary school.

Gil's interest in music was precocious: "When I was only two or two and a half", he recalled, "I told my mother I was going to become a musician or president of my country". He grew up listening to the forró music of his native northeast, and took an interest in the street performers of Salvador. Early on, he began to play the drums and the trumpet, through listening to Bob Nelson on the radio. Gil's mother was the "chief supporter" in his musical ambitions; she bought him an accordion and, when he was ten years old, sent him to music school in Salvador which he attended for four years. As an accordionist, Gil first played classical music, but grew more interested in the folk and popular music of Brazil. He was particularly influenced by singer and accordion player Luiz Gonzaga; he began to sing and play the accordion in an emulation of Gonzaga's recordings. Gil has noted that he grew to identify with Gonzaga "because he sang about the world around [him], the world that [he] encountered".

Gilberto Gil Facts

  • Gil was an ambitious child: "When I was only two or two and a half I told my mother I was going to become a musician or a president of my country”. At an early age he learned to play the drums, trumpet and accordion developing an interest in the folk and popular music of Brazil. 
  •  Gil met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at college in 1963. The two were founding members of Tropicália, a movement which was influenced by Brazilian musical and cultural developments of the 1950s and 1960s, it included elements of bossa nova, samba, soul and rock and roll from the US and Europe.
  •  Gil spent his exile in London absorbing its music, which he fused with his own on returning to Brazil in 1972. The following decade saw a string of successful album releases and continuous touring through which he built an extensive audience in the United States and impacted the global stage. 
  • Gil is credited with introducing reggae to Brazil in 1980 when he released his cover of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ with Jimmy Cliff which was a Number 1 hit in the charts. In fact, his admiration for the Marley was such that he later released a tribute album Kaya n’Gan Daya. 

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