Sweet Guru

João Gilberto was more dopey and generous than a surly genius, shows new biography written by musician Luiz Galvão

São Paulo

A very different character emerges from the pages of "João Gilberto, A Bossa." The demanding and reclusive musical genius is there, but he's also a friendly, playful man, a little stoned even, and very generous with his friends.

The book features a João Gilberto who could spend five hours talking in a single phone call, who would simply fill a bag with cash to give to a friend or ask his closest friends for help buying marijuana, which he calls Nelson. Yes, in his world, "going out to meet Nelson" had another meaning.

João Gilberto
(FILE) João Gilberto - divulgação

The work is the first book about João Gilberto written by someone who was close to the musician--in this case, another Bahian, also born in Juazeiro. Luiz Galvão, a member of Novos Baianos and the group's main lyricist, had known João since he was a child.

Galvão did not write a traditional biography. The poet wanted to relate episodes he had shared with his friend, including his youth in Juazeiro, the affectionate welcome that João gave to Novos Baianos when the group went to Rio de Janeiro, in the 1970s, and also the concerts of the singer who accompanied him.

For fans unfamiliar with musical technique, what really matters are the numerous cases described in the book, some of which are hilarious.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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