From Italy To Bossa With Love

man sitting on motor scooter being kissed by a girl
Bossa Italiana! (photo attribution: Julian E. Libra. )

Bossa Nova means Brazil. But today’s best bossas aren’t coming only from Ipanema. They’re also coming to us wrapped in a fancy ribbon with a card reading “From Italy To Bossa With Love”!

by Scott Adams

It was a simple question that brought an unexpected response, and it came at the end of dinner with a music label exec in Rio de Janeiro.

As we capped off our meal with a few fingers of aged sipping cachaça I asked, “When it comes to the rest of the world, what do you think is Brazil’s most popular music?”

He replied without hesitation: “Samba. It’s always Samba.”

His answer surprised me, not only because of its immediate arrival but also because I had not even considered it against my own firmly held opinion: Bossa Nova.

My point is that Bossa Nova is a worldwide musical phenomenon – has been for decades. But now it’s time to tune in to Bossa’s future. The New Bossa. And it’s an interesting story.

Bossa Nova has largely stayed true to its musical roots while other song styles (like rock, jazz and country music) have ‘evolved’ to their current forms.

But Bossa Nova has found itself in cultural transition: For the first time its best songs are coming not from the sandy shores of Zoan Sul, but from… Italy.

Bossa Italiana!

It’s true.

Italy is a musical melting pot, so – strictly in musical terms – the daughter of the girl from Ipanema has moved to Milan, having tired of the Brazilian Bonbons thrown at her from the ‘Little Boat’ crew in Rio.

Today, she’s sleek, sexy and totally together. And she’s happy again, doing more than just covering pop hits and singing her mother’s old songs. She needed a change of scenery.

And just as Chico Buarque and Toquinho did decades earlier, other Brazilian musicians followed. They soaked up the local trends: Smooth Jazz. Acid Jazz. Lounge and the club scene across Europe.

Make A Playlist, Or Listen To Ours

Latin Vibe? That’s Giacomo Bondi. Caibedo Island is Francesco Cainero and Cristiano Norbedo. Groups like Mazachigno and Cafe Roma have churned out Bossa Nova tunes roadworthy of a sun-coast weekend in Buzios.

And it was Nicola Conti who saved Bebel Gilberto’s Tanto Tempo album at the 11th hour. Conti has also played a hand in the careers of New Bossa standouts Rosalia de Souza and Toco, too.

In fact, the list of Brazilian talents who have helped to nurture the New Bossa sound is seemingly endless. 

Take note of these names. You’ll hear then daily on our live streaming station and more than a dozen streaming channels at

It’s Okay To Be Happy

I love the New Bossa sound that characterizes ‘From Italy To Bossa With Love’. It’s playful, fresh, vibrant, creative and exciting. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It laughs with life, just like the original did before it grew up to do car commercials for golf players or to sell running shoes for Nike.

Or become elevator music for Jake and Elwood. Or to, you know, protest something.

So, this summer as we celebrate the Sunshine Season on these pages and on our streaming station and music channels, take a moment, then say “Make mine Italian!”

From Italy To Bossa With Love