Brazil celebrates Bossa Nova Day

The new way of making music inspires generations

Published in 25/01/2022 - 14:23 By Fabíola Sinimbú - Brasília

The history of bossa nova is permeated with such a vast wealth of stories no one can pinpoint exactly when the movement originated. There is consensus, however, that August 1958 was a major milestone—the release month of 78 rpm double LP Canção do Amor Demais (“Song of Too Much Love”), under label Odeon. The album features João Gilberto’s performance of Chega de Saudade (“Enough of Saudade”), composed by Vinícius de Moraes and Tom Jobim.

Tom Jobim was the first to leave us pining with saudade. He died on January 25, 1994. Unsurprisingly, he was the one selected to be honored when Solange Kfouri, a musical producer with MPB Marketing, brought artists together in an effort to establish Brazil’s National Bossa Nova Day. Kfouri said, “There’s a Tango Day, a Jazz Day…  Why don’t we have something similar?”

Back at that meeting, in 2017, Tom Jobim’s birthday was suggested by Kfouri as the date for the commemoration. The choice marks the beginning of a process that drew support from Humberto Braga, then Secretary for Music and Performing Arts of Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, who would later on institute the National Bossa Nova Day by law in 2019.

The new bossa

Even today, the swing, harmony, melody, and lyrics of bossa nova are an ongoing source of inspiration to new generations of Brazilian and international musicians alike. A case in point is 13-year-old singer Analu Sampaio, who gives bossa nova a fresh revamp, made all the more engrossing with her body expression.

Analu Sampaio started her career early in her life. At the tender age of five, she was a feature guest on a number of TV shows, and soon proved capable of gathering a horde of fans on social media, where most of her public is formed by people her age. “I’ve always liked singing. My parents always encouraged me to listen to good music, to bossa nova, and I think that’s where my urge to share this sense of music comes from, the urge to bring this music to people—especially kids my age,” Analu said.

Bossa nova was decisive in her choice of music as her profession and object of study. “Bossa nova changed my life in a really significant way. I enabled me to open my mind to the music world. I became interested in learning music, studying. I’m really glad that my parents introduced me to bossa nova when I was much younger,” she stated.

Over 60 years after bossa nova held young people back in the day spellbound, the music style and the different forms of advertising and broadcasting make it possible for today’s generation to come into contact with the genre. This is why Analu Sampaio dedicates her career to seeing bossa nova continue to reach those who did not have the same opportunity of falling in love with the music as she did.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nira Foster

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