Legendary Brazilian guitarist Gilberto Gil is currently in Europe for a world tour to mark the singer-songwriter’s 50 years in music. A remarkable career that includes 50 albums and eight Grammy awards.
The latest tour is entitled - ‘Strings and Rhythm Machines Concert’.
Euronews caught up with him in Brussels.
Isabel Silva, euronews: ‘‘Do you still find inspiration in today’s artists like you found with Bob Marley and the Beatles during their heyday?’‘
Gilberto Gil: ‘‘I still pay a lot of attention to today’s scene, for instance hip hop and other popular music trends in the world. But I’d say my main sources of inspiration are classic Brazilian pop, American jazz, rhythm and blues, and also Central American styles such as salsa and reggae.’‘
A prisoner for nine months under Brazil’s military junta, which held power during the 1960’s, Gil is also well known for his work in politics. From 2003 to 2008 he served as Brazil’s Minister of Culture under President Lula da Silva. Much of his efforts were aimed at making music accessible to Brazil’s poorest communities.
Gil’s musical style incorporates influences, such as rock and reggae, but also African and Brazilian genres. He attributes much of that eclectic mix to his homeland Brazil, which he insists is becoming increasingly important culturally.
Gilberto Gil: ‘‘It’s a great melting pot, that’s one of the key things Brazil has to offer the world today. The mixture, the diversity. Brazil has been like that since its birth and I think it can enrich the rest of the world through its own diversity.’‘
euronews: “You’ve said you don’t worry about age much. Maybe that’s because your mother, who is 98, still attends your concerts. But you have said you’ve learned to live with your age. Could you elaborate?’‘
Gilberto Gil: ‘‘During my childhood I was very curious. I was also very active as teenager. I carried this curiosity into adulthood with a focus on learning different disciplines. Now at 70, I suppose I consider myself to be an old child.’‘
Gil will tour Europe until the end of July - with gigs in several cities, including Lyon and Nice in France and the Italian cities of Milan, Rome and Venice – before touring Latin and North America.