Latin Acad bestows kudos on Gil

Musician recognized as a pioneer

Gilberto Gil, a leader of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil in the ’60s and ’70s and now the country’s minister of culture, will be honored as person of the year by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

A tribute dinner for Gil, benefiting the Latin Recording Academy’s outreach programs, will be held Sept. 2 in Miami, the day before the fourth annual Latin Grammy Awards.

Along with Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben and Gal Costa, Gil fused traditional Brazilian genres such as samba and bossa nova with rock and folk music, and is recognized today as a pioneer in world music.

Was seen as threat

Tropicalia, which had political and social undercurrents, was perceived as a threat by the country’s military dictatorship. He and Veloso were placed in solitary confinement and eventually fled to England. After three years in England, Gil returned to Brazil in 1972.

He has released 64 albums, has 12 gold records and five platinum singles, and has recorded or performed with artists including Joao Gilberto, Sting, Pink Floyd, Yes, the Wailers, Stevie Wonder and Jimmy Cliff. The French Minister of Culture honored Gil in the 1990s with the knighthood of the Order of Arts & Literature.

Gabriel Abaroa, president of the Latin Recording Academy, said the award is designed to honor individuals who have made a global impact on music and culture. “No one embodies this like Gil, and it is the Latin Recording Academy’s great pleasure to honor this pioneer of limitless passion who has time and time again united cultures through his music.”

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