July 14, 2010 - 8:30 pm

One of the most influential Brazilian artists of all times, winner of 5 Grammy Awards, this superb singer and composer has taken Brazilian music to new heights, from the early days of tropicalismo to bossa nova and pop rock. A timelessly elegant artist for an unforgettable evening.


Caetano Veloso is “one of the greatest songwriters of the century, a master melodist, a lyricist who merges surreal imagery with a sense of history and a sense of humor, a graceful singer whose voice radiates tenderness”. Jon Pareles, Chief music critic of The New York Times.

Caetano Veloso was born in 1942 in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia. His childhood was influenced greatly by artistic endeavors: he was interested in both literature and filmmaking as a child, but focused mainly on music. The musical style of bossa nova and João Gilberto, one of its most prominent exponents, were major influences on Veloso‘s music as he grew up. Veloso first heard Gilberto at 17 years old, and describes the musician as his “supreme master”.

Veloso moved to the Bahian port city of Salvador as a teenager, the city in which Gilberto lived and a center of Afro-Brazilian culture and music.

1n 1965 he moved again to Rio de Janeiro, with his sister Maria Bethânia, also a famous musician. Shortly after the move, Veloso won a lyrics contest for his composition “Um Dia” and was signed to Philips Records.

Beginning in 1967, with collaborators including Bethânia, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, and Os Mutantes, Veloso developed the movement Tropicalismo, which fused Brazilian pop with rock and roll and avant-garde music. Veloso describes the movement as a wish to be different—not “defensive” like the right-wing Brazilian military government, which vehemently opposed the movement. Leftist college students also condemned Tropicalismo because they believed it commercialized Brazilian traditional music by incorporating musical influence from other cultures, specifically the United States. Even though Tropicalismo was controversial among traditional critics, it introduced to Música Popular Brasileira new elements for making music with an eclectic style.

Veloso studied philosophy at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, which influenced both his artistic expression and viewpoint on life. Two of his favorite philosophers were Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger. Veloso‘s leftist political stance earned him the enmity of Brazil’s military dictatorship which ruled until 1985; his songs were frequently censored and some banned. Veloso and Gil spent several months in prison in 1969 and then were sent into exile in London, England.

Veloso‘s work upon his return in 1972 was often characterized by frequent merging not only of international styles but of Brazilian folkloric styles and rhythms as well.

His popularity grew outside Brazil in the 1980s, especially in Greece, Portugal, France, and Africa. His records released in the United States, such as O Estrangeiro, helped gain him a larger audience.
To celebrate 25 years of Tropicalismo, Veloso and Gilberto Gil released a CD called Tropicalia 2 in 1993. One song, “Haiti”, attracted people’s attention during the time, especially because it included powerful statements about sociopolitical issues present in Haiti and also in Brazil. Issues addressed in the song included ethnicity, poverty, homelessness, and capital corruption in the AIDS pandemic.

By 2004, he was one of the most respected and prolific international pop stars, with more than 50 recordings available including songs in film soundtracks of Michelangelo Antonioni, Pedro Almodóvar’s “Hable con Ella” for which he sang a poignant version of the Mexican mariachi chestnut “Cucurrucucu Paloma”, and Julie Taymor’s “Frida” in 2002, for which he was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards. His latest collaboration was with Carlos Saura for “Fados” in 2009.

In 2002 Veloso published an account of his early years and the Tropicalismo movement, “Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil”.
His first all-English CD was A Foreign Sound (2004), which covers Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” and compositions from the Great American Songbook such as “The Carioca” (music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Gus Kahn), “Always” (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin), “Manhattan” (music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart), “Love for Sale” (music and lyrics by Cole Porter), and “Something Good” (music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers). Five of the six songs on his third eponymous album, released in 1971, were also in English.

In September 2006 Nonesuch Records released his album Cê in the United States. It won two Latin Grammy Awards, one for best singer-songwriter and one for Best Portuguese Song, “Não Me Arrependo”.

His latest album Zii E Zie was released in 2009.


  •  Domingo (1967)
  •  Caetano Veloso (Tropicália) (1968)
  •  Tropicália: ou Panis et Circenses (1968)
  •  Veloso, Gil e Bethania (1968)
  •  Caetano Veloso (Irene) (1969)
  •  Caetano Veloso (A Little More Blue) (1971)
  •  Transa (1972)
  •  Araçá Azul (1972)
  •  Jóia (1975)
  •  Qualquer Coisa (1975)
  • Bicho (1977)
  •  Caetano… muitos carnavais… (1977)
  •  Muito (dentro da estrela azulada) (1978)
  •  Cinema Transcendental (1979)
  •  Outras Palavras (1981)
  •  Brasil (1981)
  • Cores, Nomes (1982)
  •  Uns (1983)
  •  Velô (1984)
  •  Caetano Veloso (Trilhos Urbanos) (1986)
  •  Caetano (1987)
  •  Estrangeiro (1989)
  •  Circuladô (1991)
  •  Tropicália 2 (with Gilberto Gil) (1993)
  •  Fina Estampa (1994)
  •  Livro (1997)
  •  Noites do Norte (2000)
  •  Eu não peço desculpas (2002)
    • A Foreign Sound (2004)
    • Onqotô (2005)
    • Cê (2006)
    • Caetano Veloso e Roberto Carlos – e a música de Tom Jobim (2008)
    • Zii e Zie (2009)