HCA NEWS Gilberto Gil to be appointed HCA Ambassador

Brazilian musician and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 05 July 2004

Brazilian musician and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil is a living legend within modern Brazilian popular music and one of Brazil's greatest personalities. On an official visit to Denmark on 9 July he will be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. His Danish colleague, Brian Mikkelsen, will preside over the ceremony, which will take place at 2:30 pm at Restaurant Grøften in Tivoli Gardens.

Gilberto Gil's career as a singer, composer and guitarist reaches back to his early youth and his great fascination of the musicians Luiz Gonzaga and João Gilberto. In the 1960s, Gil and his colleague, Caetano Veloso, invented the musical genre Tropicalism, which became the most important development within Brazilian music since bossa nova.

Tropicalism combines traditional Brazilian music genres with elements from international music and popular culture. However, the political nature of his music, which campaigned against the Brazilian regime at the time, forced Gil into exile in England.

Having returned to Brazil, Gilberto Gil continued to develop Brazilian music and draw inspiration from the world around, for instance from pop music. He gained an international reputation, and following his performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1978, his albums were released the world over.

The now 62-year-old Gilberto Gil has released 30 albums, received 11 Gold Albums and 5 Platinum Albums and sold more than 5 million copies. His latest album from 2002 is 'Kaya N'Gandaya' featuring music inspired by Bob Marley.

Besides his career within music, Gilberto Gil has always been politically active. From 1988 to 1992, Gil was a member of the city council in Salvador and initiated the Onda Azul Foundation, an organisation promoting environmental and social issues. In 2002, he was appointed Brazilian Minister of Culture by President Luiz Ignácia Lula de Silva. His commitment to bringing Brazilian music to the world has earned Gilberto Gil status as a national hero.

Gilberto Gil is the 44th in the row of international personalities to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in connection with the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005.


Facts about Gilberto Gil

Christened Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira. Born on 29 June 1942 in the city of Salvador in the Brazilian province of Bahia.

As a young working-class boy, Gilberto Gil showed musical talent at an early age mastering several instruments. After hearing João Gilberto on the radio he taught himself to play the guitar and the bossa nova rhythm that became his hallmark.

Gilberto Gil has since released over 30 albums, which have sold 5 million copies worldwide. The Tropicalist genre he introduced secured his fame internationally as well as at home. Among his greatest hits are the tracks 'Domingo no Parque', 'Expresso 2222' and 'Não chore mais' (Tropicalist version of Bob Marley's 'No Woman, No Cry').

Over the years, his political activism, such as environmental activism, gained prominence alongside his musical career. His political career reached its height in 2002 when he was appointed Minister of Culture by the socialist government of President de Silva.