Caetano Veloso

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Caetano Veloso
Caetano Veloso at Umbria Jazz (Perugia, Italy)
Caetano Veloso at Umbria Jazz (Perugia, Italy)
Background information
Birth name Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso
Born August 7, 1942 (1942-08-07) (age 66)
Origin Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia, Brazil
Genre(s) Música Popular Brasileira, Tropicalismo, Pop, Psychedelic rock, Standards
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician, writer
Instrument(s) Voice, acoustic guitar
Years active 1967–present

Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso (born August 7, 1942), better known as Caetano Veloso, is a composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist. He has been called "one of the greatest songwriters of the century"[1] and is sometimes considered to be the Bob Dylan of Brazil.[2] Veloso is most known for his participation in the Brazilian musical movement Tropicalismo which encompassed theatre, poetry and music in the 1960s, at the beginning of the Brazilian military dictatorship.

Veloso was born in Bahia, a state in the northeastern area of Brazil, but moved to Rio de Janeiro as a college student in the mid-1960s. Soon after the move, Veloso won a music contest and was signed to his first label. He became one of the founders of Tropicalismo with a group of several other musicians and artists—including his sister Maria Bethânia—in the same period. However the Brazilian government at the time viewed Veloso's music and political action as threatening, and he was arrested, along with fellow musician Gilberto Gil, in 1969. The two eventually were exiled from Brazil, and went to London, where they lived for two years. After he moved back to his home country, in 1972, Veloso once again began recording and performing, becoming popular outside of Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. He has so far won five Latin Grammy Awards. He recorded his first all-English album, A Foreign Sound in 2004. The album contains many American standards.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early years (1942–1969)

Veloso was born in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia, the fifth of seven children of José Teles Veloso (1901-1983) and Claudionor Viana Teles Veloso (1907-). His childhood was influenced greatly by artistic endeavors: he was interested in both literature and filmmaking as a child, but focused mainly on music. The musical style of bossa nova and João Gilberto, one of its most prominent exponents, were major influences on Veloso's music as he grew up.[2] Veloso first heard Gilberto at 17 years old, and describes the musician as his "supreme master."[3] He recognizes Gilberto's contribution to Brazilian music as new—"illuminating" the tradition of Brazilian music and paving the way for future innovation.[3] Veloso moved to the Bahian port city of Salvador as a teenager, the city in which Gilberto lived and a center of Afro-Brazilian culture and music.[4]

1n 1965 he moved again to Rio de Janeiro, with his sister Maria Bethânia, also a musician. Shortly after the move, Veloso won a lyrics contest for his composition "Um Dia" and was signed to Philips Records.[5] Beginning in 1967, with collaborators including Bethânia, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, and Os Mutantes, Veloso developed Tropicalismo, which fused Brazilian pop with rock and roll and avant-garde music. Veloso describes the movement as a wish to be different—not "defensive" as the right-wing Brazilian military government, which vehemently opposed the movement. Leftist college students also condemned Tropicalismo because they believed it commercialized Brazilian traditional music by incorporating musical influence from other cultures, specifically the United States.[3] Even though Tropicalismo was controversial among traditional critics, it introduced to Música Popular Brasileira new elements for making music with an eclectic style.[6]

Veloso studied philosophy at the Universidade Federal da Bahia,[2] which influenced both his artistic expression and viewpoint on life. Two of his favorite philosophers were Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger.[6] Veloso's leftist political stance earned him the enmity of Brazil's military dictatorship which ruled until 1985; his songs were frequently censored and some banned. Veloso and Gil spent several months in prison in 1969 and faced exile. He said that "they didn't imprison us for any song or any particular thing that we said," describing the government's reaction to its unfamiliarity with the cultural phenomenon of Tropicália—"We might as well put them in prison."[7] The federal police detained the two and flew them to an unknown destination. Finally, Veloso and Gil lived out their exile in London, England. When Caetano was asked about his experience there he says, "London felt dark, and I felt far away from myself." Nevertheless, the two improved their music there and were asked to make a musical production with the producer Ralph Mace.[6]

[edit] Musical career (1972–present)

Veloso performs in Lisbon, Portugal in 2007

Veloso's work upon his return in 1972 was often characterized by frequent merging not only of international styles but of Brazilian folkloric styles and rhythms as well. His popularity grew outside Brazil in the 1980s, especially in Israel, Greece, Portugal, France, and Africa. His records released in the United States, such as O Estrangeiro, helped gain him a larger audience.

To celebrate 25 years of Tropicalismo, Veloso and Gilberto Gil released a CD called Tropicalia 2 in 1993.[8] One song, "Haiti", attracted people's attention during the time, especially because it included powerful statements about sociopolitical issues present in Haiti and also in Brazil. Issues addressed in the song included ethnicity, poverty, homelessness, and capital corruption in the AIDS pandemic.[8][9] By 2004, he was one of the most respected and prolific international pop stars, with more than 50 recordings available including songs in film soundtracks of Michelangelo Antonioni's Eros, Pedro Almodóvar's Hable con ella, and Frida, for which he performed at the 75th Academy Awards but did not win. In 2002 Veloso published an account of his early years and the Tropicalismo movement, Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil.

His first all-English CD was A Foreign Sound (2004), which covers Nirvana's "Come as You Are" and compositions from the Great American Songbook such as "The Carioca" (music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Gus Kahn), "Always" (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin), "Manhattan" (music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart), "Love for Sale" (music and lyrics by Cole Porter), and "Something Good" (music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers). Five of the six songs on his third eponymous album, released in 1971, were also in English. His September 2006 album, , was released by Nonesuch Records in the United States. It won two Latin Grammy Awards, one for best singer-songwriter[10] and one for Best Portuguese Song, "Não Me Arrependo".[11] With a total of five Latin Grammys, Veloso has received more than any other Brazilian performer.

[edit] Personal life

Veloso's first marriage in 1969 was to a dance student named Andréa Gadelha, known as Dedé, who was the sister of Gilberto Gil's ex-wife Sandra Gadelha. With Dedé, he had his first son Moreno, born in 1972. In 1982 Veloso started a relationship with Paula Lavigne. Veloso's marriage with Gadelha ended in 1983 and he married Lavigne in 1986 when she was 17. The couple had two sons: Zeca (born 1992) and Tom (born 1997). Veloso and Lavigne divorced in 2004.

[edit] Musical style

Veloso's home, Bahia, has had a decisive role in his music. He praises Bahia for its importance in Brazil's colonial period—when the Portuguese first came—as well as for Bahia's contribution to Brazilian music.

Veloso says that he is unable to make a comparison between his musical style in the 1960s, at the height of Tropicália, to his current work. He does note, however, that he is able to accomplish music of a higher quality later in his career; "better at everything."[3]

[edit] Discography

Studio albums
  • 1983: Uns
  • 1984: Velô
  • 1986: Caetano Veloso
  • 1987: Caetano
  • 1989: Estrangeiro
  • 1991: Circuladô
  • 1993: Tropicália 2 (with Gilberto Gil)
  • 1994: Fina Estampa
  • 1995: O Quatrilho (film soundtrack)
  • 1996: Tieta do Agreste (film soundtrack)
  • 1997: Livro
  • 1999: Orfeu (film soundtrack)
  • 2000: Noites do Norte
  • 2002: Eu não peço desculpas (with Jorge Mautner)
  • 2002: Todo Caetano (box set)
  • 2004: A Foreign Sound
  • 2005: Onqotô
  • 2006:
  • 2008: Caetano Veloso e Roberto Carlos - e a música de Tom Jobim
  • 2009: Zii e Zie, transambas (April release)
Live albums
  • 1968: Ao Vivo (with Os Mutantes)
  • 1972: Barra 69 ao vivo na Bahia (with Gilberto Gil)
  • 1972: Caetano e Chico - Juntos ao Vivo (with Chico Buarque)
  • 1974: Temporada de Verão - ao vivo na Bahia (with Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil)
  • 1977: Bicho Baile Show (with Banda Black Rio)
  • 1978: Maria Bethânia e Caetano Veloso ao Vivo (with Maria Bethânia)
  • 1986: Totalmente Demais
  • 1992: Circuladô Vivo
  • 1994: Fina Estampa ao Vivo
  • 1999: Prenda Minha
  • 1999: Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta
  • 2001: Noites do Norte ao vivo
  • 2007: Cê ao vivo

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rohter, Larry (2002-11-17). "A Revolutionary Who's Still on the Move". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c Manning, Jason. "The Life of Caetano Veloso". Online NewsHour (Public Broadcasting Service). Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gross, Terry; Veloso, Caetano (2002-12-10). "Brazilian Songwriter Caetano Veloso" (radio). Fresh Air (National Public Radio). Retrieved on 2008-05-16. 
  4. ^ Wald (2007), p. 118
  5. ^ Dougan, John. "Biography". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 
  6. ^ a b c Schnabel, Tom (1998). Rhythm Planet: The Great World Music Makers. New York City, New York: Universe Publishing. ISBN 0-7893-0238-1. 
  7. ^ Pareles, Jon (1992-09-09). "At Lunch with Caetano Veloso; Lots of Rebellion and a Little Hot Sauce For the Spirited Bob Dylan of Brazil". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved on 2008-05-16. 
  8. ^ a b Béhague, Gerard (Spring/Summer 2006). "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–95)". Latin American Music Review 27 (1): 79–90. doi:10.1353/lat.2006.0021. 
  9. ^ Scheper-Hughes, Nancy; Hoffman, Daniel (May/June 1994). "Kids Out of Place" ([dead link]Scholar search). NACLA report on the Americas (New York City, New York: NACLA) 575: 122. doi:10.1177/0002716201575001008. Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 
  10. ^ "Mejor Album Cantuator" (in Spanish). Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 
  11. ^ "Mejot Cancion Brasileña (Idioma Portugues)" (in Spanish). Retrieved on 2008-03-22. 

Zii e Zie 2009

[edit] Sources

  • Wald, Elijah (2007). Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music. New York City, New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97930-7. 
  • Veloso, Caetano (2003). Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil. New York City, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 
  • Mei, Giancarlo (2004) (in Italian). Canto Latino: Origine, Evoluzione e Protagonisti della Musica Popolare del Brasile. Stampa Alternativa-Nuovi Equilibri. 
  • Veloso, Caetano (1997). Alegria, Alegria. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Pedra que Ronca. 
  • Veloso, Caetano (1997). Verdade tropical. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras. 
  • Veloso, Caetano (2003). Letra só. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras. 
  • Veloso, Caetano (2005). O mundo não é chato. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras. 
  • Morais Junior, Luís Carlos de (2004). Crisólogo: O estudante de poesia Caetano Veloso. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: HP Comunicação. 

[edit] External links

NAME Veloso, Caetano
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Veloso, Caetano Emanuel Viana Teles
SHORT DESCRIPTION Singer, songwriter, composer, writer, activist
DATE OF BIRTH August 7, 1942
PLACE OF BIRTH Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil
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