the last Brazilian farewell to João Gilberto


The ceremony was supposed to be reserved for relatives, but some anonymous admirers rushed to the scene in the early hours of the morning.

Hundreds of Brazilians went to the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater on Monday morning for the funeral vigil of João Gilberto, one of the fathers of Bossa Nova, who died on Saturday at the age of 88.

The semi-open coffin, from which emerged the singer's face, was placed in front of the majestic staircase of the entrance hall of this theater inspired by the Paris Opera Garnier, one of the symbols of the splendor of Rio at the beginning. of the last century.

Many wreaths of flowers paid tribute to "master of masters", as one could read on the one sent by rock singer Rita Lee, one of the icons of the tropical movement, strongly influenced by João Gilberto.

Some even took with them musical instruments, in tribute to the one who embodied the cultural revolution of the Bossa Nova in the 50s, alongside the composer Tom Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes.

"João Gilberto represents a new era of music, it has inspired many people, it is not of my time, but its music is still alive, a phenomenal musician who inspires love and peace"Paulo Afonso Sampaio, a 43-year-old entrepreneur with his guitar, told AFP.

"I've never seen him live, but it gives me the goosebumps of being so close to him today, so I brought my guitar to keep inspiring me from of the", he added. For Mario Bastos, an 81-year-old lawyer, Joao Gilberto "is an icon of music, which heard sounds that others could not hear."

Joao Gilberto has lived almost all of the last ten years of his reclusive life at home, struggling with financial difficulties and family disputes. He performed for the last time in concert in 2008, in his hometown of Salvador, in the northeastern state of Bahia, as part of a tour celebrating 50 years of bossa nova. Another concert of this tour had just taken place at the Municipal Theater of Rio, which hosted his wake.

The funeral was to take place Monday afternoon in Niteroi, near Rio, a ceremony, this time reserved for relatives.


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