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João Gilberto 1931-2019

The singer, songwriter, and guitarist who largely defined Brazilian bossa nova has passed away at 88

João Gilberto in 2006
João Gilberto in 2006 (photo: Tuca Vieira)

João Gilberto, a Brazilian guitarist and singer/songwriter who was one of the creators (and arguably the most iconic performer) of the bossa nova genre, died July 6 at his home in Rio de Janeiro. He was 88.

His death was announced by his son, João Marcelo Gilberto. The cause of death was an unspecified illness. “His fight was noble,” the younger Gilberto said in his statement.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.