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Caetano Veloso, the idol and personality of Brazilian culture, is 80 years old

This content was published on Aug 06, 2022 – 10:02

Maria Angelica Troncoso

Rio de Janeiro, August 6 (EFE). Caetano Veloso, one of the most universal voices in Brazilian music and a key figure in the country’s culture, celebrates his 80th birthday on Sunday amidst music and stories about his life and work.

The Brazilian singer-songwriter, winner of two Grammy Awards and ten Latin Awards, remains one of the most attended voices in Brazilian music in recent decades, since the emergence of bossa nova.

Compared to the Nobel Prize for Literature Bob Dylan for his lyrics and the intellectual level of his songs, Caetano shared the stage with greats like Pavarotti and was revered by Madonna or Almodovar, who brought his voice to many of his films. .

After eight decades of life and more than 50 years of artwork, it wasn’t long after the honour.

From his collection of songs to his “unconventional” autobiography, they are part of the publishing party launched in his honor, something that the artist will complement this Sunday with an “intimate” and family concert for all of Brazil, in which his three sons and his famous sister Maria Bethania will participate.

Five decades of music

The singer-songwriter, who also stands out as a music producer, began his professional career in 1965 with the album “Cavaleiro / Samba em Paz” and in 1967 with the album “Domingo”, the success of which allowed him to meet his idol and father from Bossa Nova, Joao Gilberto, with whom he worked in different projects.

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Known for her high lyrical and intellectual value, Caetano released 53 albums, including thirteen studio albums, the last of which, “Meu Coco”, released in 2021, as well as the Spanish-language album “Fina Estampa”, which strengthened its presence in Latin America. .

In recent years, the composer has been working with his sons Moreno, Zica and Tom, who inherited his passion for music, a collaboration that gave life to “Ofertório” (2018).

Music was not his first choice

Music runs in Caetano’s veins due to the rhythm of the Bahia region, where African heritage reverberates in drums honoring the “orixas” (gods) of Candomble and Umbanda.

The centuries-old cultural syncretism that he experienced from his early years in the small Santo Amaro da Purificacao, the city in which he was born, has had a strong influence on the singer-songwriter, as well as on Fellini’s cinema, the texts of Clarice Lispector and Sartre’s existentialism.

Although he had previously played the first chords at the age of five and recorded his first song at the age of ten – only for his family – Caetano did not consider himself a musician due to his lack of skill in playing the guitar, so he even thought of dedicating himself to painting. teacher.

“Unlike all the artists of his generation, he lost his family ‘Chega de saudade’ to Joao Gilberto, but he didn’t get into music right away (…) due to the insecurities of not being able to master any instrument, and even less so his idol: the guitar,” Tom Cardoso , author of “Outras palavras: seis vezes Caetano,” one of the works released this month in his honor, told Efe.

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Then in 1965, the military dictatorship had just been imposed in Brazil, and repression had to be faced in a time of hallucinations, peace and love.

It was in this situation that he met Gilberto Gil, who, according to Cardoso, by that time really stood out for his guitar skills and was a key piece for Caetano to jump into music after teaching him how to fend for himself with the instrument.

From there an indestructible friendship would be born that shared prison and even exile in London, which shaped Brazilian popular music and led Tropicalism, a cultural movement that transcended music and incorporated diverse and pioneering styles, but always with current Brazilian roots.

Controversial and contradictory

For Tom Cardoso, Caetano is an “essential figure” in Brazilian culture who has “transcended” the musical field and has been described as controversial and contradictory, a figure who has stirred up dust in the country.

Caetano contradicts himself all the time, because he “knows that things change,” and that “not everything is the ultimate truth,” asserts the author.

A critic of the dictatorship, as well as of the left, he has now clearly positioned himself against the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro and even on his latest album “Leaves a message of the setback that Brazil has suffered.” EFE

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