Milton Nascimento’s Milestone Year

Milton Nascimento's Milestone Year. Nascimento wears his trademak tan cap while holding his guitar.
Milton Nascimento’s music crosses cultures on a global scale. 2022 marks his 60th year as a musician.

His Clear, passionate voice captures the spirit of Brazil

Milton Nascimento’s milestone year marks the 50th anniversary of one of Brazil’s most important albums and his final concert tour.

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Presented by the Consulate-General of Brazil in Chicago and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Department.

In celebration of Brazil’s Bicentennial year, 1822 – 2022

This week’s Brazilian Minute: Milton Nascimento’s Milestone Year

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Script from Audio:

Welcome to Brazilian Minute, brought to you by the Consulate-General of Brazil in Chicago and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Department.

Milton Nascimento’s clear, passionate voice captures the spirit of Brazil.

It rises from the rich, red soil of his homeland, Minas Gerais, where he banded with other young musicians to create the Clube da Esquina, The Street Corner Club.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Clube da Esquina album, one of Brazil’s 10 most important recordings. It also celebrates Nascimento’s six-decade career with his final concert tour, including six US cities.

Nascimento’s music has crossed cultures on a global scale. New York’s Verve Records signed his first album contract. Wayne Shorter’s Native Dancer established Nascimento internationally. He’s collaborated with Elis Regina, Earth, Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Duran Duran, and dozens more.

Milton Nascimento has five Grammy Awards, including Best World Music Album.

Read and listen to new weekly episodes of The Brazilian Minute. It’s brought to you by the Consulate General of Brazil, in Chicago, and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Department.

Milton Nascimento's Milestone Year; The LP album cover of 1972's 'Clube da Esquina', rated as one of Brazil's greatest recordings.
Original artwork for the 1972 LP album, Clube da Esquina, featuring the music collective of the same name, led by Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges. Contrary to popular belief, the cover photo is not of these two as children. A search for the real boys was undertaken in 2011 as part of the album’s 40th anniversary. They are Antonio Rimes and Antônio Carlos Rosa de Oliveira, who lived in rural Rio de Janeiro state.

Milton Nascimento’s Milestone Year

Overview:

It’s only fitting that the year that marks Brazil’s Bicentennial also celebrates one of the country’s most beloved singer/songwriters.

Milton Nascimento’s creative roots are as strikingly unique as his vocal range. From its resonant depth to the chime-like clarity of his falsetto mastery.

His musical influences are of equal parts. Firstly, Nascimento combines a unique international vision via jazz, rock, and the world. Secondly, he remains introspectively Brazilian; a result of putting down roots in the rich, red soil of his hometown of Belo Horizonte.

2022 is a milestone year for Milton Nascimento. It brings the 50th anniversary of the Clube da Esquina album, one of Brazil’s greatest recordings. It salutes his musical career of 60 years.

Finally, 2022 marks Milton Nascimento’s final concert tour, across Brazil, the United States, and select European venues.

Putting Down Musical Roots

Nascimento’s story offers one of the most impressive vignettes in the panorama of modern Brazilian music. It is far removed from the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, nor within the scent of the African spice of Bahia.

Nascimento’s music begins inland, in the hill country shadows of Minas Gerais. This landlocked state is known for its diamonds, gold, and gems.

In 1945, a small town called Três Pontas inherited its own musical treasure from Rio. A three-year-old boy named Milton Nascimento.

A move to Belo Horizonte would inspire him to uniquely redefine Brazilian music. He was influenced by the traditions of the region and its folkloric, colonial past. Even the sentimental, melancholy of the ‘Toada’, the narrative song form that is distinctive to the region.

Nascimento’s creative drive drew many fine musicians to his side. This includes pianist Wagner Tiso, Lo Borges, Beto Guedes, songwriter Fernando Brandt, and guitarist Toninho Horta.

Collectively this group of young musical innovators became known as the ‘Street Corner Club’ or ‘Clube da Esquina’.

Clube da Esquina Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

In 1972, the group joined Milton Nascimento and co-leader Borges in a Rio de Janeiro studio to record Clube Da Esquina. The double album spawned hit singles, notably ‘Cravo e Canela’ (Clove and Cinnamon), ‘Cais’ (The Pier), and ‘Nada Será Como Antes’ (Nothing Will Be As It Was). Rolling Stone Brasil’s list of ‘Brazil Top 100 Songs’ ranks Clube Da Esquina at #7.

The album drew on a number of diverse musical influences, including jazz, rock, Chopin, and the Beatles. Surprisingly, Clube Da Esquina has influenced the direction of Brazilian music for decades.

One of Milton’s best-known albums in the U.S. is ‘Native Dancer’, his 1975 album with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Shorter’s reputation as an alumnus with Miles Davis and Weather Report helped to launch Nascimento’s music internationally.

Milton’s voice can also be heard on Paul Simon’s ‘The Rhythm Of The Saints’ and Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Brazilian Romance’ album. Nascimento co-wrote and recorded ‘Breath After Breath’ with Duran Duran in 1993.

He has participated with James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, and Quincy Jones. Numerous U.S.-based musicians, including the Manhattan Transfer and Stan Getz, have recorded his music.

In 2020, Brazilian American jazz pianist Antonio Adolfo released a tribute album titled Bruma: Celebrating Milton Nascimento.

Milton Nascimento’s Milestone Year Takes Center Stage

Milton Nascimento is one of the rare vocalists who can draw audiences around the world, regardless of language. He has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Latin America.

2022 will mark his final concert tour. Nascimento’s official announcement came on Sunday night, May 15th with a video. Read the complete story.

A Grammy nominee in 1991 for Txai and in 1995 for Angelus, he won the ‘Best World Music Album’ award in 1997 for his self-titled release Nascimento. He captured 1992’s Down Beat International Critic’s Poll and 1991’s Down Beat Readers’ Poll.

Listen To Milton Nascimento’s Music

Milton’s sound draws from the undercurrents of numerous styles and cultures. This includes centuries-old sacred and folk expressions, from African tribal chants to Gregorian chants.

Nascimento’s soulful voice has fluid command of both lower and upper registers. His falsetto range is distinctively powerful and passionate.

He sings of community, of the earth, of friendship and love, of truth and character. The things that bind all humanity together.

With 60 years of music and 42 memorable albums to enjoy, it’s no small wonder that Milton Nascimento is able to touch us so deeply with just a single phrase.

Connect Brazil has created a free-to-listen streaming channel to celebrate Milton Nascimento’s milestone year. We hope that you will enjoy it and share it with others.

Music, Travel, Friends, and Fun! 2022 marks Connect Brazil’s 25th year.

Milton Nascimento’s milestone year

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Milton Nascimento’s ‘Travassia’ was the first of many songs that brought a new musical identity to Brazil and to a rising generation of musicians who redefined Brazilian pop.