A champion of Brazil's African-rooted traditions who has scoured the vast backlands of his own country and the far corners of the world in search of inspiration for his constantly evolving artistic vision, Gilberto Gil remains one of his land's most enterprising musicians. His singing and composing career in Bahia, the center of African culture in Brazil, began in the mid sixties as one of the founders of the revolutionary tropicalismo movement.
Tropicalismo, built on an eclectic mix of native and global influences, turned the conventions of Brazilian popular culture inside out and created its own language. Gil's quest for new ways to invigorate his personal take on the sounds of Brazil have led to Jamaican reggae, African pop music, R&B and rhythmic and harmonic vignettes that range from Amazonian backwaters to the posh clubs of Tokyo.
In December of 2002, at the age of 60, Gilberto Gil was named Minister of Culture of Brazil by President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Gil is one of the leaders of the Green Party, which is sharing power with President Lula's Worker's Party.
As a musician and as a diplomat, Gil possesses a key role in the constant modernization of Brazilian popular music and culture throughout the world. Gil's Broadband Band Tour for June and July 2008 followed his unprecedented 2007 solo tour.
Banda Larga (Broad Band), the album and the tour, reaffirmed Gil's irreversible engagement with the new rules and compasses of the universe of bits and bytes, embracing all of the risks and challenges. This theme that has fascinated him for more than 30 years characterized a previous tour outside of North America, also called Banda Larga, in which Gil made available as much of his work as possible for webcasts, podcasts, cellcasts, etc.
The great novelty of the Broadband Band Summer Tour 2008 was really the set list. Whereas the previous tour was created around the greatest hits, this time Gilberto Gil played a new collection of songs such as Banda Larga Cordel, Nao grude nao and other more recent compositions.
Alison Loerke, 1245 NE 88th Street, Seattle, WA 98115, USA. Phone: +1-206.525.2425, Fax: +1-206.525.9891.
Photo credit: Priscila Azul