By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, June 15th, sees the return of one of Brazil’s musical greats, as Gilberto Gil plays a concert at the Vivo Rio arena in support of his 2018 album “OK OK OK.”
Known for his political activism and close friendship with imprisoned former President Lula, Gil took to Facebook this Friday, June 14th, to share his opinion on the current political situation in Brazil.
He comments “The chances of having a dictatorship again seem to be subject, in my view, more to a change in international trends than to the emergence of a new outbreak of the phenomenon in Brazil. If these trends appear to be irreversible worldwide, then yes, the chances of a new dictatorship around here can increase perilously,” he concludes.
The singer, possibly one of the most beloved figures on the Brazilian music scene, is back in Rio this Saturday in support of his latest album. At 76 years of age, Gil has recently battled both kidney and heart problems, yet the album that he has produced has been called “the best batch of songs from the composer this century” by Folha de S.Paulo.
His latest work brings together themes of illness, aging, as well as criticisms of contemporary Brazilian society. His son Bem handled the musical production, and the album counts many other family and friends among its collaborators, lending the songs an intimate atmosphere.
However, now Gil is emerging onto the stage once again, accompanied by backing vocalists and a full band, and bringing these very private songs out to the public, along with a selection of some of his favorite compositions over his decades-long career.
Ever-opinionated about the state of Brazil, Gil commented on many contemporary issues, such as the Bolsonaro presidency, in a recent in-depth interview with Estadão, “Bolsonaro inspires me to pray,” he says.
On recently embattled Judge Moro, Gil comments rather prophetically: “He inspires me as someone who carries a riddle… A certain permanent air of interrogation, not signaling very clearly where he wants to go, what he wants to say, or what he wants to prove. In Moro lives a mystery!”
Finally, on Lula, Gil says: “Lula inspires me with compassion. It has always been like this since he became the spokesman for the search for irrefutable solidarity… Lula is a rough stone; he can’t be polished!”
After Rio de Janeiro, the tour will take him to São Paulo on Saturday, June 22nd, and then the singer will be embarking on a worldwide tour, playing Vienna, London, Barcelona, Berlin, and Lisbon, among other major cities and festivals.
What: Gilberto Gil no Vivo Rio
When: Saturday, June 15th; 9 PM
Where: Vivo Rio, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique 85, Centro
Entrance: Sold Out