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Watch: Singer pays tribute to legendary musician father with captivating performance in Abu Dhabi – News


Bebel Gilberto puts on a powerful demonstration of the unifying power of music, effortlessly transcending the boundaries of language and culture.

By Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

Published: Tue Oct 10, 2023, 18:07

The NYUAD Arts Center in Abu Dhabi was recently transformed into a vibrant hub for music and culture enthusiasts from around the world. In the middle of the meeting, attention was focused on the spotlight that illuminated Bebel Gilberto. Her charming voice filled the place, creating a captivating and magical atmosphere.

The evening unfolded as a perfect celebration, highlighting the universal language of bossa nova. Central to this enchanting experience was a heartfelt tribute to João Gilberto, the legendary father of Bebel Gilberto and an iconic figure in the world of music. The performance went beyond the music; It was a communion of souls, uniting the past with the present.

Starting with his recently released album, “João”, Bebel Gilberto declared his love for his father through his music. The album itself was a treasure trove of melodies that João Gilberto had appreciated, songs that resonated with him on a deeply personal level. The performance added a contemporary artistic layer to these timeless classics. Bill Bragin, director of the Arts Center, offered his perspective on the performance: “It was a very personal show, evident in their conversations between songs. Bebel deftly wove some of the most important songs in the Bossa Nova songbook, created by his father, along with his own original compositions.

Gilberto, known for her gentle Portuguese lyrics that painted vivid emotions, occasionally ventured into a linguistic realm that many in the audience could not fully understand. However, what was revealed was a powerful demonstration of the unifying power of music, effortlessly transcending the boundaries of language and culture.

As Bebel addressed the audience in Portuguese, his warm and welcoming presence enveloped the room. It was as if her words, although strange to many, carried a universal message of love, joy and celebration. Her charisma, honed over years of performing on international stages, reached everyone in attendance effortlessly.

The crowd was enchanted as Bebel playfully interacted with them in a call and response during the bossa nova tunes. Amid whimsical gibberish, met with joyful echoes from the audience, a unique connection developed.

However, it was in the long hours of singing that it became clear that Bebel Gilberto was not speaking in Portuguese, but in the language of the heart, an understanding accepted by all present. Bill Bragin summed it up by saying: “His performance of her was magnificent; her sublime voice and expressive phrasing transcended language barriers, making the experience truly extraordinary for everyone, regardless of their fluency in Portuguese.”

The NYUAD Arts Center, a platform serving cultural diversity, is recognized for its long-standing commitment to celebrating humanity, diversity, and promoting cultural exchange. They welcome artists from around the world and offer them a space to share their talent and express their views through music and art. Hosting events like “Songs My Father Loved” reflects the center’s mission of bridging cultures, providing a platform for artists and audiences to connect on a more personal level, with a universal language called ‘Art’.


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