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President's Speaker Series: Gilberto Gil
6:45pm, Monday November 7, 2011
A free talk by the legendary Brazilian singer, songwriter, guitarist
Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University (OCAD U) is pleased to announce that legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Gilberto Gil will launch the 2011/12 President’s Speaker Series at OCAD University with his talk “The Power of the Arts” on Monday, November 7 at 6:45 p.m.
Gilberto Gil is one of Brazil’s most influential musicians. Known for his musical innovation and melodic richness, Gil has released 52 albums, five of them platinum, and sold more than four million records, 12 of them gold. Over nearly half a century, his music has incorporated a blend of styles, including bossa nova, baião, samba, reggae and rock, and an eclectic range of influences including The Beatles, Luiz Gonzaga, João Gilberto and Jimi Hendrix.
“Since my childhood, music has been my passion, and to work with passion is a dream,” says Gil, whose interest in music as a precocious three-year-old was encouraged by his mother. The year 1963 marked a turning point when he met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at the Federal University of Bahia (Salvador, Brazil) and the two began their long-time collaboration with the creation of Tropicalism. The movement was deemed a threat by the Brazilian government during its military dictatorship for its controversial political content, and led to Gil and Veloso’s imprisonment, and later exile in England.
Upon Gil’s return from London in 1972, he forged his renowned style through a string of landmark albums and performances that garnered international attention, including his legendary show at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival. He has won eight Grammy Awards, for albums such as Quanta Live (1999) and Eletracústico (2005), and, most recently, for his latest album, Fé na Festa (2010). He continues to tour, often with his son Bem, bringing his distinctive sound to audiences worldwide.
Gil’s work as an environmentalist and politician has paralleled his musical career. In 2003, he was named Brazil’s Minister of Culture, a post he held until 2008. Among his many honours, he was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 1999 and was awarded both Sweden’s Polar Music Prize and the French Légion d’honneur in 2005.
Gilberto Gil’s talk is generously supported by Partners In Art in conjunction with the Twinning Cities/Twinning Artists exhibition series that launches in January 2012 at Onsite [at] OCAD U's greatly expanded new venue at 230 Richmond Street West in January 2012.
The President’s Speaker Series continues in March with a talk by Dr. Lev Manovich, Professor of Cultural Analytics at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego.
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