Gilberto was born Astrud Winert in the state of Bahia in the north-east of Brazil, on 29th March 1940. Her mother was Brazilian her father German. She grew up in Rio de Janeiro, and moved to the USA in the early 1960s, where she still lives.
In her mid-teens, she became part of (her own words) a “musical clan” when she met João Gilberto, whom she described as the clan’s musical “guru”. She married him a few months later, in 1959. She frequently sang duets with him, or sang while he accompanied her on guitar, and he acted as her musical tutor. She also sang publicly with her husband in a concert at the Rio de Janeiro Faculty of Architecture, but did not sing professionally at that time.
The couple moved to the United States in 1963, where she performed on the influential Getz/Gilberto album with João Gilberto, Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim. While rehearsing “The Girl From Ipanema”, João asked her to sing a verse in English, and then persuaded Getz to include this in the final recording. Getz agreed, and Astrud’s professional career began. After the recording Getz told Astrud it would make her famous, and was proved correct.
In the mid-1960s the couple divorced.
The success of Gilberto’s vocal work on the song “The Girl From Ipanema” quickly turned her into a jazz star, and soon she started recording solo. She started as an interpreter of Brazilian bossa nova and American jazz standards, but started recording her own compositions in the 1970s.
Edited by timbark on 20 Nov 2010, 11:20
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