Master Composers: Caetano Veloso


Image courtesy of

Born as Caetano Emanuel Viana Telles Veloso on August 7, 1942, this multiple Latin Grammy and American Grammy award winner has performed his music for over five decades.

While in college, he helped found a group called Tropicalismo–a movement from the 1960’s which featured art and poetry weaved into music.  After most of his early music was heavily non-P.C. oriented, he along with fellow musician Gilberto Gil were arrested in 1969 but eventually would exile to London.

Beginning in 1972, Caetano Veloso returned to the studio and really started becoming popular during most of the 1980’s and into the 1990’s.  My CD of the week goes back to 1998, which won Grammy Awards both in the U.S. and in Latin America in 2000.

The songs are very jumpy and use lots of percussion and some drums along with acoustic bass here and there.

Lots of really cool songs, and yes–there is a huge 64 page booklet inside with full English translations.  My favorite song is on Track 3, “Onde o Rio E Mais Baiamo” (translated meaning, “Where Rio Is Most Bohemian.”  Track 6 goes the slower route on the romantic ballad, “Voce E Minha” (or “You Are Mine”).  The most peculiar track is on Number 10, which I will leave to you, my fellow blog fans to interpret for yourself.

And there are no signs of Veloso slowing down, as he continues to perform throughout Brazil and the world.
The song of course that he performed during the Opening Ceremony with Anitta and Gilberto Gil at famed Maracana Stadium on August 5 was called, “Isto aqui, o que é?” (or “This Here, What Is It?”).  That theme was tied to the multiple rainforests and all of the grenery that makes Brazil famous as a country.

The way I answer this question, especially to the newbies of this blog is simple:

This blog documents the legends and the rising stars and people you should know in the world of Brazilian jazz music.  Please take a look at my past interviews for some extra fun and guidance.  And yes, there will be at least one more interview with an American citizen born in Washington, DC but spent a few good years of her life in Rio long before the Olympics arrived.  She presently calls New York City home, so my goal is to have that interview posted in my blog sometime during the fall.

Next week will be another album tribute, this time for the pair of albums done so masterfully by the late Moacir Santos.  Please enjoy the rest of your week.



%d bloggers like this: