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Bebel Gilberto's Minimalist Vibe

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Wednesday December 13, 2017

From The Chicago Tribune

Bebel Gilberto’s minimalist vibe a happy accident
By: KT Hawbaker

It’s that sound. Gentle, lilting, calm and casual yet irresistible, a bossa nova melody that some seem to struggle with while others, like Bebel Gilberto, find as natural as breathing. It doesn’t hurt that Gilberto is the daughter of bossa nova icon Joao Gilberto. Yet even with those deep roots, the 51-year-old singer has always aimed for her own space. Most recently that has meant heading toward a simplified sound, which the five-time Grammy nominee will bring to City Winery next week.

While she has been performing for 20 years, her path is still full of surprises, such as when Gilberto was making her way through a Brazilian airport last week and heard something familiar.

“The music they were playing wasn’t really clear, so I was thinking, ‘Oh, who is this? It’s probably one of my cousins, someone who is singing like me,’” she says with a laugh. “But then I am about to board the plane, and I realize — it’s me!”

Gilberto says she took in the moment and told a nearby flight attendant, “You know, it’s not every day that I wait for a plane and hear myself playing at the airport.”

“Thank God I was in Brazil so they recognized me. I loved it.”

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