Astrud Gilberto was born Astrud Evangelina Weinert, the daughter of a Brazilian mother and a German father, in the state of Bahia, Brazil. She was raised in Rio de Janeiro. She married João Gilberto in 1959 and emigrated to the United States in 1963, residing in the U.S. from that time. Astrud and João divorced in the mid-1960s and she began a relationship with her musical partner, American jazz saxophone player Stan Getz.
She sang on two tracks on the influential 1963 album Getz/Gilberto featuring João Gilberto, Stan Getz, and Antônio Carlos Jobim, despite having never sung professionally before this recording. The 1964 single version of “The Girl from Ipanema”, taken from the 1963 album, omitted the Portuguese lyrics sung by João Gilberto, and established Astrud Gilberto as a Bossa Nova singer. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. In 1964, Gilberto appeared in the films Get Yourself a College Girl and The Hanged Man. Her first solo album was The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965). Upon moving to the United States, she went on tour with Getz. Beginning as a singer of bossa nova and American jazz standards, Gilberto started to record her own compositions in the 1970s. She has recorded songs in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Japanese.
In 1982, Gilberto’s son Marcelo joined her group, touring with her for more than a decade as bassist. In addition, he collaborated as co-producer of the albums Live in New York (1996) and Temperance (1997). Her son Gregory Lasorsa played guitar on the Temperance album on the song “Beautiful You”, which features singer Michael Franks.
Gilberto received the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992, and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002. In 1996, she contributed to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization, performing the song “Desafinado” (Portuguese for “slightly out of tune”, or “off key”) along with George Michael. Although she did not officially retire, Gilberto announced in 2002, that she was taking “indefinite time off” from public performances.
Her original recording of “Fly Me to the Moon” was edited as a duet using a recording of the same song by Frank Sinatra for the soundtrack of Down with Love (2003). Her recording “Who Can I Turn To?” was sampled by The Black Eyed Peas in the song “Like That” from the album Monkey Business. Her vocals on “Berimbau” were sampled by Cut Chemist in his song “The Garden”. Her recording of “Once I Loved” was featured in the 2007 film Juno. The “Astrud” track on Basia Trzetrzelewska’s 1987 album, Time and Tide, is a tribute to Gilberto.
Gilberto is an ardent advocate of animal rights.
Gilberto was born in New York City to Brazilian parents, bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto and singer Miúcha, who were briefly living in the city at the time of her birth. She often traveled with her father when he recorded albums in different countries; she lived in Mexico at age three and moved to Rio de Janeiro at age five. Gilberto’s parents separated when she was seven, and she spent her time between Rio de Janeiro with her mother and New York with her father.
Gilberto recalls that her childhood was “music nonstop”; when reflecting on her father’s influence, Gilberto states, “He taught me to be a perfectionist. But my mother taught me how to lose it. And you can hear it in my music today, I think.” She grew acquainted with popular artists such as Caetano Veloso, David Byrne, and Stan Getz, who often visited her father’s home to collaborate. She began singing with her mother at a young age and participated in professional musicals such as Saltimbancos and Pirlimpimpim. At the age of seven, she made her recording debut on her mother’s first solo album, Miúcha & Antônio Carlos Jobim (1977). Two years later, she performed at Carnegie Hall with her mother and Stan Getz.
lis & Tom is a bossa nova album recorded by Brazilian singer Elis Regina and singer/songwriter Antônio Carlos Jobim, released in 1974.
Recorded over a 16-day period at MGM Studios in Los Angeles, California, the album was an old wish of Elis, who always wanted to record a full album of Jobim’s songs with him. The dream finally came true in 1974, when Elis was celebrating her 10th anniversary as an artist of Philips Records. The label approved the project as a gift for her.
The Allmusic review by Thom Jurek awards the album 4.5 stars and states “This beautiful — and now legendary — recording date between iconic Brazilian vocalist Elis Regina and composer, conductor, and arranger Tom Jobim is widely regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian pop recordings.”
It was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Brazilian albums of all time.The album was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. On September 2012 it was voted by the audience of Radio Eldorado FM, of Estadao.com and of Caderno C2+Música (both the latter belong to newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo) as the fourth-best Brazilian album ever.
Stan Getz – Tenor sax
Joao Gilberto – Guitar, vocals
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Piano
Tommy Williams – Bass
Milton Banana – Drums
Astrud Gilberto – vocals
When talking about bossa nova, perhaps the signature pop music sound of Brazil, frequently the first name to come to one’s lips is that of Antonio Carlos Jobim. With songs like “The Girl From Ipanema” and “Desafindo,” Jobim pretty much set the standard for the creation of the bossa nova in the mid-’50s. However, as is often the case, others come along and take the genre in a new direction, reinventing through radical reinterpretation, be it lyrically, rhythmically, or in live performance, making the music theirs. And if Jobim gets credit for laying the foundation of bossa nova, then the genre was brilliantly reimagined (and, arguably, defined) by the singer/songwriter and guitarist João Gilberto. In his native country he is called O Mito (The Legend), a deserving nickname, for since he began recording in late ’50s Gilberto, with his signature soft, near-whispering croon, set a standard few have equaled.
Born in 1931 in Juazeiro in the northeastern state of Brazil known as Bahia, Gilberto seemed obsessed with music almost from the moment he emerged from the womb. His grandfather bought him his first guitar at age 14 (much to the dismay of João’s father). Within a year, the result of near constant practicing, he was the leader of a band made up of school friends. During this time Gilberto was absorbing the rhythmic subtlety of the Brazilian pop songs of the day, while also taking in the rich sounds of swing jazz (Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey), as well as the light opera singing of Jeanette MacDonald. At 18, Gilberto gave up on his small town life and headed to Bahia’s largest city, Salvador, to get a foothold in the music industry performing on live radio shows. Although he was given the opportunity to sing, instant stardom was not in the offing, but his brief appearances on the radio brought him to the attention of Antonio Maria, who wanted Gilberto to become the lead singer for the popular radio band Garotos da Lua (Boys From the Moon) and move to Rio de Janeiro.