I’m excited to be doing a tribute to MPB featuring composers such as Djavan, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and more. These amazing artists most Brazilian people grew up listening to. As a musician, I’ve studied and pulled apart some of their compositions, trying to find their secret sauce and creating my own. They are important because they have put Brazilian music on the level it is today. Bossa Nova is wonderful and very well known internationally, but MPB is not as recognized. So I’m taking this opportunity to show you what it’s all about and mixing it with the amazingly talented jazz musicians in the area.
MPB is a short for “Música Popular Brasileira” (translated: “Brazilian Popular Music”). And as the name suggests, it is a very varied and multifaceted genre and the biggest genre within Brazilian music. MPB is any kind of Brazilian music, that is neither traditional folk music, nor fits into any other clearly defined genre, like for example bossa nova, rock, manguebeat or soul. Generally MPB brings together elements of various Brazilian musical styles, often mixed with different kinds of international music genres.
MPB, as it is defined today, basically began during the 1960’s, with artists like Edu Lobo, Maria Bethânia, Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento. The real explosion of creativity within Brazilian music, however, occurred during the 1970’s, when all sorts of music styles were mixed, completely new styles were invented and uninhibited creativity was allowed to blossom. Among the most taletend, most successful and most exciting MPB artists during the 1970’s were, apart from the above mentioned, also Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Novos Baianos, Tom Zé and Gal Costa. Ever since the 1970’s, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil have steadily reinvented themselves as artists and they both remain as two of Brazil’s most beloved and admired figures in Brazilian music. Although already a huge star in the 1960’s, Chico Buarque gained depth both musically and lyrically during the 1970’s, when he produced some of his most brilliant albums. Gal Costa gradually moved away from the radical experimentalism of her tropicalismo years, turning into a more conventional (but no less exciting) MPB singer. Novos Baianos splendidly mixed rock, samba, choro and Brazilian hippie culture, while Djavan’s unique mix of samba and MPB earned him a position as one of Brazil’s leading artists for three decades.
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(Part of this text was taken from: http://www.greatbrazilianmusic.com/mpb.html)