Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil ( born June 26, 1942 in Salvador da Bahia, Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira ) is a Brazilian musician and politician.

Life and Music

His early childhood was spent Gil inside Brazil, where his father had enough money as a doctor, to afford one of the few radio stations in the village Ituaçu. There he came into contact with the then popular forms of music, especially the accordion players and troubadours. When Gil was eight years old the family moved back to Salvador, where he attended a Marist. From his mother he was then given a accordion to learn the instrument on an accordion school.

In his youth, Bossa Nova came into fashion and Gil also learned to play the guitar. In the 60s he was with his peers Caetano Veloso protagonist of the Tropicalia movement, which radically innovative bossa nova combined with international rock and pop music, and the states in the former Brazil sharply criticized.

The military dictatorship suppressed the movement, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil as had to leave the country. Gil spent two years in London.

1972, after his return to Brazil, he recorded a trilogy of albums in which he returned to the roots of Brazilian music and mixed them with pop. The three albums are Expresso 2222, which in 1975 recorded with Jorge Ben Jorge Gil and designed with the Bahian Caetano Veloso fellow musician, Gal Costa and Maria Bethânia Os Doces Bárbaros ( The Sweet Barbarians ).

This was followed by his so-called conceptual trilogy: Refazenda that explores the music of the rural areas of Brazil; Refavela for showing the African side of Brazil and goes back to the roots of Nigeria, Bahia and Rio; and Realce, the disco and pop music integrated.

In the early 1990s came Parabolicamará, a concert for 80,000 spectators at the Copacabana, and Tropicália 2, the 25th anniversary of the Tropicalia movement, out. The album Quanta Gente Veio Ver, the live version of Quanta, was honored with the Grammy for Best World Music.

Gil won 11 gold and five platinum records; total he has sold more than four million records. In addition, he has worked with many Brazilian and international artists, including João Gilberto, Stevie Wonder and Jimmy Cliff.

His album Kaya N'Gan Daya was recorded in Jamaica and mixed Brazilian music with reggae. It is a tribute to Bob Marley, one of his great idols.

2005 Gilberto Gil was awarded the Polar Music Prize, which is regarded as the unofficial Nobel Prize for Music.


Parallel to his career as an artist Gilberto Gil is also involved in politics for a long time. In 1987 he was appointed cultural officer of the city of Salvador and fought for the preservation of the historical heritage of the city. In this role, he also founded the Onda Azul ( Blue Wave ), whose goal is to obtain a livable environment and to promote environmental awareness. From 1 January 2003 to July 2008 was Gilberto Gil culture minister in the government of Lula da Silva. Gil promoted, among other open source projects in this function. In his last years as a professional politician for his leadership became increasingly criticized, it was accused, among other things to a careless relationship with business colleagues or mafia bosses.


His musical honors include: 1999 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for Quanta Live 2001 Latin Grammy for As Canções De Eu, Tu, Eles and 2002 for São João Vivo, 2005 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album for Eletrácustico.