All Aboard: Gilberto Gil's Cultural Roadtrip

Learn more about this global artist and discover some of the places he has visited that marked his career

By Google Arts & Culture

Illustration by Raiana Britto

Gilberto Gil's Cultural Roadtrip Map (2022) by Raiana Britto

Expresso 2222 by Gilberto Gil
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Presenting your tour guide: Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil is a Brazilian multi-artist with a decades long career that has taken him from a small city in the countryside of Bahia to the furthest corners of the world.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

On The Road

Better known for being one of the founding fathers of the Tropicália music movement, not only did his songs travel all continents, reaching audiences all over the world, but Gil himself has lead a life that brought him closer to his fans as well as he's personal idols.

Now hop on and take a tour of Gilberto Gil's world and discover the life and legacy of this international star.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Can't Find My Way Home by Gilberto Gil
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London calling

The first stop on the tour is the UK capital. During the early years of the military dictatorship, Gil went into exile in London. There, Gil recorded his fourth studio album, which featured a cover of Steve Winwood's Can't Find My Way Home.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Back in Bahia
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Back to Bahia

Bahia, in the Northeast region of Brazil, is Gil's home state. Famous for its Carnival celebrations, Gil's presence in the capital Salvador during the celebrations is almost certainly guaranteed, after all, he has his own music truck, which every year brings crowds the streets

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Gilberto Gil canta Palco em gravação do Quanta Gente Veio Ver
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La la land

1998 is marked forever in Gil's musical career. That year, in Los Angeles, the Recording Academy announced his first Grammy Award, which he won for the album Quanta Live. In 2005, he'd repeat the feat again, this time with the album Eletracústico.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Toda Menina Baiana by Gilberto Gil at the Ballroom in New York
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The United Nations of Gil

As Minister of Culture, Gil presented at the UN in New York at the invitation of the Secretary General, Kofi Annan. At the end of the performance, the secretary joined on stage and played the atabaque in Toda Menina Baiana, with both receiving a standing ovation. Watch it here.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Gilberto Gil and The Wailers record Gimme Your Love
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Reggae time

One of Gil's biggest influences is Jamaican icon Bob Marley. Although Gil never got to meet him, he has honored his idol many times, from producing a version of Woman No Cry in Brazilian Portuguese to recording with Bob Marley's band, The Wailers.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

From Japan (Do Japão) by Gilberto Gil and Ernie Watts
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To the land of the rising sun

The success of Gil's career has also taken him across the world, and even all the way to places like Japan. He has visited the country many times with his tours and has even written a song in its honor, Do Japão (From Japan) featured in the album O eterno Deus Mu dança.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Babá Alapalá
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Uncovering African Ancestry in Benin

Gil says his travels in Africa are some of the most important moments of his life as an Afro-Brazilian artist. In Benin, he collaborated with photographer Pierre Verger in a film and brought some of the country back to Brazil with him, by helping to create Casa do Benin in Bahia.

Gil hotspots by Raiana Britto

Aquele Abraço
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A Marvelous Home: Rio de Janeiro

The final stop on this trip is the Marvelous City, Rio de Janeiro: the place which Gil currently calls home. It is also the place where Gil has received the most recent achievement of his career: being elected a member of the prestigious Brazilian Academy of Letters. Learn more.

Gilberto Gil's Cultural Roadtrip Map (2022) by Raiana Britto

Where to next?

Go back to The Rhythm of Gil and discover other places he has visited during this 80-year-old iconic life and career and what's next in store for this unstoppable artist.

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