Utopian Songwriting Music, Modernity, NATION and Censorship in 1960s Brazil
Friday April 8th 8pm @ Iron Post 120 S Race St, Urbana IL
This concert/discussion explores multidisciplinary connections between music and political activism during the early years of the military dictatorship in Brazil as part of the on-going program on Global Utopias of the Center for Historical Interpretation
Co-sponsored by the Department of History, Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
- The Project
- The Composers
- Military Dictatorship in Latin America (Jerry Davila)
- MPB, Student Movement and Censorship
The Great American Songbook has been a connecting thread through out the history of jazz as songs written by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and others have been recorded and performed by many of the great jazz artists. From Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker to John Coltrane, Miles Davis to Tom Harrell, Oscar Peterson to Keith Jarrett, every jazz musician who incorporates "Jazz Standards" into their repertoire is also faced with the challenge of recreating these songs in every performance, trying to present them in a unique and individual way. The Utopian Songwriting project is based on this century-long tradition among jazz musicians, focusing on Brazilian songs and songwriters. On this performance, musicians Marcelo Boccato, Tito Carrillo, Geof Bradfield, Clark Sommers and Dana Hall will collectively explore the Brazilian Songbook, creating music based on group improvisation that draws from their unique individual musical backgrounds as well as the rich and diverse universe of Brazilian popular music.
Domingo no Parque (Gilberto Gil)
Viver de Amor (Toninho Horta)
Morro Velho (Milton Nascimento)
Vera Cruz (Milton Nascimento)
Memória e Fado (Egberto Gismonti)
Disparada (Geraldo Vandré)
Sem Fantasia (Chico Buarque)
Travessia (Milton Nascimento)
Despite Bossa Nova’s enormous impact in popular music and the positive reception of the movement by the public and critics, some people still questioned the music’s lack of political and social relevance. Many musicians who were at the center of Bossa Nova in its birth started to explore different ways to combine the modern elements that had recently been introduced in Brazilin popular music while also drawing from traditional samba and elements of regional and folkloric music. They would also soon incorporate social and political themes in the lyrics with a strong nationalist perspective. This process had a strong support from UNE (National Student Union) and its new founded cultural department CPC (Popular Cultural Center), which led to a larger integration of the arts and collaborations between younger musicians like Carlos Lyra, Nara Leão, Vinicius de Moares, Baden Powell, Oscar Neto and artists representing the old-guard of samba like Cartola, Nelson Cavaquinho and Mangueira’s samba school.
Popular music in Brazil was changing faster than ever, and the aesthetic contributions of this group would lead to the creation of the MMPB movement (Modern Popular Brazilian Music). Later referred to as MPB, this movement challenged primarily the notions of modernity consolidated in the BN. Elis Regina is among the most influential artists of that period and became the face of MPB, due to her unmatchable ability to synthesize the many different musical influences and tensions present in popular music at that time. The large success of her show O Fino da Bossa, produced by a student organization from São Paulo, would lead to the creation of the First Festival of Popular Music, hosted by TV Excelsior. In the same year, TV Record created the weekly TV show O Fino da Bossa, hosted by Elis Regina and guest artists. This show would consolidate the presence of popular music in TVs across the nation and also solidified the TV Song Festivals as the primary space for innovation in popular music.