What Brazil’s Master of Bossa Nova Left Us

The Bossa Nova emulates the African-influenced samba tradition of Brazil, but at much lower volumes and without the drums and rhythm instruments associated with the samba. 

João Gilberto, known as one of the fathers of the Bossa Nova, a musical style that originated in Brazil in the mid-1950s, has died at the age of 88. His son, João Marcelo Gilberto, posted on Facebook that his father had passed away on 6 July. His work included Bim-Bom, often called the first Bossa Nova song, and the Girl from Ipanema.

The Bossa Nova emulates the African-influenced samba tradition of Brazil, but at much lower volumes and without the drums and rhythm instruments associated with the samba. Gilberto, along with composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius de Moraes, were responsible for much of the development of this new beat in the 1950s and 60s. The nature of Gilberto’s illness has not been disclosed.

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