Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gilberto Gil practices what he preaches

As the minister of culture for Brazil, Gilberto Gil is speaking at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin on Wednesday just before he transforms into a pop star on a three-week North American tour, which includes stops at Radio City Music Hall and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

In a front-page Arts&Leisure section article on Sunday, The New York Times focused on the convergence of his worlds of politics and the arts.

"He doesn't just make music, he also makes policy," the Times article said.

His style has been called "Afro Zen," which is intriguing all by itself.

With cut and paste techniques -- the musical equivalent of William Burroughs' literary technique -- Gil and other "Tropicalistas" in the late 1960s foreshadowed today's digital sampling.

As one of the pioneers of world music, he mixed samba, salsa and bossa nova with rock and folk.

"Music is something visceral in me, something that exudes from me, and even when I'm not thinking about it, I will still be making music, always," Gil told the Times. -- MichaelK/TBPAC

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