Gilberto Gil appointed HCA Ambassador
Brazilian musician and Minister fo Culture Gilberto Gil, who is currently on official visit to Denmark, has today joined ranks with the fast expanding Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador corps.
By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 09 July 2004
Today, at 2:30 p.m. (Central European Time) Friday 9 July, Danish Minister for Culture Brian Mikkelsen appointed Brazilian Minister for Culture and musician Gilberto Gil as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. For decades, Gilberto Gil has been a leading figure within the development of modern Brazilian popular music, and since the 1960s he has been a catalyst in bringing Brazilian music and culture to the world.
Danish Minister for Culture Brian Mikkelsen appointed Gilberto Gil with the following statement:
After his speech, Danish Minister for Culture Brian Mikkelsen presented the newly appointed Andersen Ambassador with the Hans Christian Andersen needle and diploma as well as the Hans Christian Andersen plate designed by Lin Utzon.
Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, expressed great satisfaction in the commitment made by the Brazilian popular hero and minister for culture to the worldwide celebration of Hans Christian Andersen next year. He envisioned great opportunity in this Danish-Brazilian collaboration.
Lars Seeberg stated:
Gilberto Gil is currently on an official visit to Denmark, and he combines his official duties with a jazz concert performance featured at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. This combination of politics and music is characteristic of Gilberto Gil, who since assuming office as minister for culture has insisted on maintaining his musical career. In acknowledgment of his contribution to music and culture, Gil was awarded the Man of the Year Award at the Latin Grammy Awards in Miami in the autumn of 2003.
Following his years of forced exile in England he started to develop an interest in mixing musical genres. Among other things, he introduced elements of European pop music to the Brazilian idiom. This development earned him international success, spearheaded by his performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1978.
During his extensive career, the now 62-year-old Gilberto Gil has released over 30 albums, received 11 gold albums, 5 platinum albums and sold more than 5 million copies. His latest album from 2002, entitled "Kaya N'Gandaya", is inspired by the music of Bob Marley.
Furthermore, Gil has recorded albums with a wide variety of artists, such as his childhood idol João Gilberto, Bob Marley's band The Wailers and Milton Nascimento, who also features at this year's Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
Gilberto Gil is the 44th in the row of international personalities to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in connection with the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary - the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen. He joins ranks with his fellow countryman, the football legend Pelé, who in May last year was appointed by HRH Crown Prince Frederik. It was, incidentally, the first appointment to be made on Danish soil.