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Legend of bossa nova, João Gilberto, dies aged 88

9 July 2019


João Gilberto, the pioneer of bossa nova has died at the age of 88 at his home in Rio de Janeiro. Spawned from the brazilinan tradition of Samba, and incorporating modern jazz and pop influences, Gilberto’s ‘new wave’ style gained a considerable following in the 1960s both at home and internationally. 

His son, João Marcelo Gilberto, confirmed the passing of the great composer via a Facebook post on July 6th, with the funeral held on Monday the 8th at Rio’s Municipal Theatre. 

The release of the single, Chega de Saudade, in the late 1950s is widely considered the first recording of the bossa nova style. Just one of the many influential pieces he worked on during his early career, Gilberto’s output went on to gain international acclaim and inspire a whole generation of new artists. His 1964 collaborative effort with U.S jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, simply titled Getz/Gilberto, produced the worldwide hit The Girl from Ipanema as well as earned the duo a Grammy win for Album of the Year.