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The Birth of Bossa Nova

Joao Gilberto was one of the key bossa nova pioneers.
Hulton Archive
Getty Images
Joao Gilberto was one of the key bossa nova pioneers.

The summer of 1958 was the season of bossa nova. Fifty years ago, a movement of melody, harmony, lyrics, and rhythm sent a fresh wave of sound throughout Brazil. In the years to follow, a small group of idealistic musicians — including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Joao Gilberto, and a handful of others — would write some of the most enduring melodies in music history. Here are five songs from the magical era when the gentle sound of Brazil hypnotized the world.

Copyright 2008 WBGO

Gary Walker
For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.