Jorge Ben Jor

Essential Albums

About Jorge Ben Jor

Jorge Ben’s bold artistic vision, satirical wit, and uncommon resilience made him a key figure in Brazilian music for decades. Born Jorge Duílio Lima Menezes in Rio de Janeiro in 1942, Ben became part of a vanguard of Brazilian artists in the mid-’60s who combined homegrown styles with the outside influences of pop, jazz, folk, and rock to create new forms. He scored his first major success when Sergio Mendes’ cover of his first single, “Mas, Que Nada!” became an international smash in 1966. Pushing far beyond that song’s gentle samba sound, Ben developed his own thrilling hybrids on his self-titled album of 1969 and 1970’s Bruta Forca, two landmark Tropicália albums. Further fusions of Brazilian rhythms, African grooves, and American soul and funk yielded another classic with 1976’s Africa Brasil. Though the musician—who changed his stage name to Jorge Ben Jor in 1989—shifted more into pop in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and beyond, the fundamentals of his artistry remained indisputable.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
March 22, 1942
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