Political figures sometimes
attend jazz concerts and jazz musicians may attend political events,
but very, very rarely are the political figure and jazz musician
one and the same person. Thus was the situation at the Arkadenof
of the Vienna City Hall during the 2006 Jazz Fest when Gilberto
Gil took the stage. One of Brazil´s most popular musicians,
he is also his country´s minister of culture, having been
appointed to the position in 2003 by Brazilian President Lula
da Silva. When joining Lola's government Gilberto Gil reserved
himself the right for a mere ten concert performances per year.
Fritz Thom and his team took the challenge and were able to secure
one of Gil's rare artistic appearances for Vienna.
From Tropicalismo to exile and back
Born in the cultural and musical melting pot of Salvador de Bahia,
Gilberto Gil began his career as a bossa nova artist, but drew
a wider audience when he become one of the leading figures of
the "Tropicalismo"-movement, composing and performing
songs which dealt with political and social issues. This eventually
brought him into conflict with Brazil´s military-led government.
In 1969, Gilberto Gil and fellow musician Caetano Veloso were
arrested for anti-government activities. They were forced to leave
the country upon their release and then moved to London. In the
1970s, Gil concentrated both on his solo career, but also collaborated
with other musicians such as Jimmy Cliff and Pink Floyd.