The University of Illinois

The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Events and Activities


Utopian Songwriting: Music, Nation, Modernity and Censorship in 1960s Brazil

This concert/discussion explores multidisciplinary connections between music and political activism during the early years of the military dictatorship in Brazil as part of the on-going program on Global Utopias of the Center for Historical Interpretation. Held at a local club, the event presents music from Brazilian songwriters including Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Geraldo Vandre, Toninho Horta and Egberto Gismonti, who became prominent through music festivals organized by TV networks during the 1960s.
The performance will feature local musicians Marcelo Boccato (DMA student in Jazz Performance) and Tito Carrillo (Associate Professor of Jazz Studies) joined by three of the most relevant contemporary jazz musicians in Chicago: Geof Bradfield, Clark Sommers and Dana Hall. Professors Marc Hertzman (History) and Mike Silvers (Music) will present a brief pre-concert talk and concert notes during the performance discussing issues of aesthetics, modernity, and national identity in Brazilian popular music.


Gilberto Gil: Music and Culture in Brasil

With more than 50 albums to his credit, Gilberto Gil is an ambassador for music that ranges from the baião of Northeastern Brazil to reggae, psychedelia, bossa nova, electronica, samba, and rock. He was fundamental in Tropicália's development and spread in the 1960s, and he continues to be a force both in politics and musical innovation. A multiple Grammy award winner, he has served as Brazil's Minister of Culture and as a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

About Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil is one of the most influential and recognized Brazilian artists for the past half century. He has released 60 albums, won eight Grammys and served as Brazil's Minister of Culture. His work innovates in interpreting Brazilian musical traditions and connecting them with other world music.

For his unflinching creative engagement in bringing to the world the heart and soul of Brazilian music, Gilberto Gil has been recognized by many nations who have named him an Artist for Peace by UNESCO, Ambassador of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and recognized him with awards such as Sweden's Polar Music Prize among others.

For more information about Gilberto Gil, his discography and other events, please visit his website:

Video of Gilberto's Lecture