Few nations celebrate as rich of a musical heritage as Brazil. Whether found in traditional folk stylings, samba, bossa nova, MPB, or the wild sounds of the short-lived Tropicalismo movement, Brazilian artists such as Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben, and João Gilberto are not only icons in their home country, but they retain massive popularity among a global audience. While Brazil has charted a very different recent history from other nations of “the West,” its own musical golden age tracks similarly to that of the United States and Great Britain – undergoing a similarly vibrant explosion of creativity from the late-fifties through the mid-seventies. Though many of Brazil’s most brilliant musical figures of the era took cues from American and British artists, the respect was reciprocal, as Brazilian influences likewise crept into the sounds of Western jazz, rock, pop, and soul music.
Join Strange Currencies throughout the month of August, as we explore both the music of Brazil, and its influence on sounds from around the globe.
Matt Ryan founded Strange Currencies Music in January 2020, and remains the site's editor-in-chief. The creator of the "A Century of Song" project and co-host of the "Strange Currencies Podcast," Matt enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has a particular affinity for 60s pop, 90s indie rock, and post-bop jazz. He is an avid collector of vinyl, and a multi-instrumentalist who has played/recorded with several different bands and projects.