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Brazilian Musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to Tour Europe and the Middle East in 50-Year Anniversary

06/25/2015 - 09h11

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LUCAS NEVES
COLLABORATION FOR FOLHA, FROM PARIS

The tour that reunites Caetano Veloso, 72, and Gilberto Gil, 73, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary starts on Thursday, June 25th, in Amsterdam with 18 confirmed concerts in Europe and the Middle East (Israel).

For now, only nine concerts have been confirmed in Brazil, where São Paulo will host the inaugural concert, on August 21st and 22nd.

The most likely songs to be part of the show's opening sequence, however, recall without hesitation where the pair is rooted in.

The blues "Back in Bahia" (Gil, 1972), composed straight after their return from exile in London ("As if going away was necessary for coming back / So much more alive"), flows into "Marginália 2" (Gil / Torquato Neto, 1968), where the verses are uncomfortably not anachronistic, even 47 years on: "My land has palm trees / Where the wind blows / From famine, fear and / Mainly death."

Then the samba "It's Morning" (written by Veloso and recorded by Bethania in 1965 as the B side of the compact that released the song "Caracara") should open the way for "Filhos de Gandhi" (Gil, 1975), another creation that resulted from their return to Brazil.

At any given point in the European tour, a unique partnership between the two may be incorporated into the repertoire, according to Caetano Veloso – personified here with the motto "mystery may be just around the corner."

"We have not made anything together yet. Gil has created two unusual and beautiful melodies. But I have not written any lyrics," he writes, on an interview by e-mail.

For the musician, there is not any imbalance in the ratio of shows in Brazil and abroad (France and Italy will each host four concerts): "You know how it is, invitations pour in from abroad and we end up playing more than what was originally planned."

In the first five dates of the tour in Europe, the price of admission varies between 54 euros (or US$60, on average for the cheapest tickets) and 95 euros (or US$105, on average for the most expensive tickets). In São Paulo, the sale starts today, and prices are between R$ 120 (US$39) and R$ 450 (US$145).

The tour with Gil caused a stir before it has even started. An online mobilization demands that the musicians give up performing in Tel Aviv, in the face of Israeli state policy against Palestine.

The English musician Roger Waters, former leader of Pink Floyd and supporter of the Palestinian cause, addressed two letters to the Brazilian musicians asking them to cancel the trip, but his request went unanswered.

This week Veloso spoke out arguing that it was necessary to separate the actions of Netanyahu's government from the thoughts and attitudes of the Israeli public.

The concert on July 28th is therefore maintained. The artist said to Folha: "It does not help to oversimplify the Israel-Palestine question."

"I cannot mistake the people for their government or its policies. I cannot mistake them for Jewish fanatics who attack Palestinians in settlement areas, just as I am not mistaking Palestinians for suicide bombers or intolerant anti-Semites. I imagine that whoever goes to one of our shows in Tel Aviv is not on the extreme right", he adds.

Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA

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