Bossa nova, the elegant descendent of samba and jazz
“Olha que coisa mais linda, mais cheia de graça…” Have you put the music on after reading that? Well, of course! It is the lyrics to “Garota de Ipanema” (Girl from Ipanema), the most famous bossa nova song in the world. It is a piece that embodies all of the elegance, intimacy, emotion, smoothness and warmth of this musical genre.
Vinícius de Moraes wrote the song and Tom Jobim added the music to it. In 1958 both men worked on Elizeth Cardoso’s album "Canção do amor demais", which also featured João Gilberto, jazz-influenced music, completing the list of precursors of the first form of bossa nova.
“Chega de Saudade” is considered to be the song that marks the beginning of this style that originated in Rio de Janeiro when energetic street samba decided it was time to sit down and relax while gazing at the beach. So, gathered in apartments along the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, a group of musicians created an elegant and refined sound that is sung at a low volume, creating a warm atmosphere.
Other key bossa nova figures are Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Stan Getz and even Ella Fitzgerald. These musicians allow us to delight in a genre that is like a palm tree gently swaying in the breeze at dusk in Rio de Janeiro.
In order to enjoy bossa nova in Rio, we suggest some iconic places such as Los Arcos in the Lapa district, a key spot for the city’s night life. There is also El Ponta de Bossa Nova and Bip bip, both located in Copacabana. Vinícius Show Bar in Ipanema is considered to be the “temple of bossa nova”. Lastly, at Pedro do Sal you can enjoy live music outside with a spontaneous atmosphere.
Fly with LAN and TAM Airlines to Rio de Janeiro, and you can stroll around, dance and enjoy life with the locals that most intensely live the samba and bossa nova experience.