Brazilian 'father of bossa nova' Joao Gilberto dies at 88

BUENOS AIRES, Denis Duettmann (dpa)- Brazilian singer and guitarist Joao Gilberto, considered to be one of the pioneers of the bossa nova genre, has died aged 88, his son said Saturday.
"My father has passed," Joao Marcelo Gilberto wrote on Facebook. "His fight was noble, he tried to maintain dignity in the light of losing his sovereignty."

Brazilian news portal G1 reported that Gilberto died at home in Rio de Janeiro. He had recently been seriously ill and in debt, according to local media.
Although not a founder of bossa nova - a fusion of jazz and samba - it was not until Gilberto arrived on the scene in 1958 that the form took off.
Gilberto left school at the age of 16 and moved to Salvador to become a musician. He later moved to Rio where he joined the group Garotos da Lua.
Though he recorded several singles during that time he was unsuccessful as an artist until he discovered the rhythms of bossa nova.
Within a short time he had hits around the world, including with his version of "The Girl from Ipanema," which was later translated into English and reinterpreted by many singers including Frank Sinatra.
The album trilogy "Chega de saudade" (1950), "O amor, o Sorriso e a Flor" (1960), and "Joao Gilberto" (1961) helped to make bossa nova popular outside Brazil.
And his "Getz/Gilberto" album with American saxophone player Stan Getz sold millions of copies and won two Grammy awards for Album of the Year and Record of the Year in 1964.
Musicians and fans paid tribute to Gilberto after the news of his death.
"Joao Gilberto has left us, the biggest genius of Brazilian music," singer Gal Costa wrote on Instagram. "He will be sorely missed. His legacy is hugely meaningful for Brazil and the world."
"It's a monumental loss, not just for bossa nova but for all Brazilian music," journalist and bossa nova expert Ruy Castro told Globo TV.
"Joao Gilberto was the biggest artist ever to me," said composer and singer Caetano Veloso.

Sunday, July 7th 2019
Denis Duettmann (dpa)

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