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UNIQUE MOMENTS
GILBERTO GIL -
BRAZIL'S MINISTER OF CULTURE TAKES THE STAGE IN VIENNA
 

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.

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Gilberto GIL

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Politics and world music
Gilberto Gil continued his musical career after going back to Brazil when democracy was finally restored to that country. In his music Gilberto Gil blends different musical styles and cultural influences. He uses his popularity in his efforts for cultural openess and social responsibility. His ministry takes a leading role in supporting initiative like Creative Commons that seek for a balanced solution of copyright issues for creators. It is therefore not surprising that Gilberto Gil first gave a press briefing on political issues bevor taking the stage and transforming the wonderful Arkadenhof of the Vienna City Hall into a boiling fiesta of world music.

 
     
 
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