Astrud Gilberto

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About Astrud Gilberto

In March 1963, Brazilian amateur singer Astrud Gilberto made her first recording at the age of 23, appearing as a spontaneous guest on Getz/Gilberto, the classic collaboration between American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz and bossa nova doyen—and her husband—guitarist/singer João Gilberto. She sang an English-language verse with conversational insouciance on the Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes song “The Girl From Ipanema,” which not only became a global hit but also established her as the voice of bossa nova internationally. After touring with Getz for half a year, she signed with Verve Records and launched a successful solo career—she and João divorced in 1965—cutting albums in the U.S. with Jobim and jazz greats such as Bud Shank, Gil Evans, and Bob Brookmeyer, translating the Portuguese lyrics of many Jobim classics into English, and occasionally giving jazz standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” the bossa treatment. Her appeal resided in a wispy diffidence that reclined into the sashaying rhythms of Brazilian music, perpetually opting for restraint over extroversion. She made only a handful of albums since the early ‘70s, but she reached a new generation of listeners in 1996 when she resurfaced with a duet version of “Desafinado” with George Michael. But the undiminished charm of her early work cemented her status as a bossa nova icon long before her death in June 2023 at the age of 83.

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
March 30, 1940
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