Bay Area music lovers will have a unique opportunity Thursday to enjoy a new performance by Brazilian pop star Gilberto Gil. The singer and guitarist—formerly Brazil’s Minister of Culture—will perform at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland.
“What I’m bringing to America this time is Forró,” said Gil, who had just performed his set at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. “In this concert, we mix a little—it’s mostly Forró, [music] but also some standard, some hits from my whole career, some reggae music, and Bob Marley’s songs.”
Gil’s concert is part of the annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, which brings celebrated international artists to perform in the Bay Area. Over the years SFJAZZ has presented several Brazilian artists, including the famed Milton Nacimento, Daniela Mercury and Caetano Veloso.
“It is important to show what music has inspired jazz and how jazz inspires other music,” said Marshall Lamm, Publicist of SFJAZZ. “Brazilian music is based on improvisation, as is jazz , and the two styles of music have always been connected. Gil is a musical revolutionary, an international pop star and SFJAZZ will always book a former Minister of Culture!”
Gil is touring the United States to promote his new project, the String and Rhythm Machines Concert. The performance celebrates Brazil’s São João festival, a week of wall-to-wall Forró music each June, which marks the end of the rainy season in Brazil as well as the corn harvest.
“After samba, I think [Forró] is the most popular style of music in Brazil,” Gil said. “It’s very rhythmical, very strong, very powerful. So if people in Oakland want to dance, welcome.”
Gil will perform at the Paramount Theater this Thursday at 7:30pm. For more information about the concert, visit sfjazz.org.