Joao Gilberto


In 1958, João Gilberto created a new musical language through his own voice and guitar.  The music, called Bossa Nova, has since spread over the world and, after 45 years, it is still loved in every part of the world and by so many people, especially in Japan.

In September of 2003, João Gilberto finally arrived in Japan for the first time.  The concert tickets for 4 days in Tokyo and Yokohama, which were for 20,000 seats in all, were quickly sold out.

On the first day (September 11th), the TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FORUM HALL A was filled with much expectation and tension of 5,000 audiences who were waiting for the historical moment.  Then João appeared on the stage 70 minutes later than he was supposed to, said "Kon-ban-wa" (which means "good evening" in Japanese), and started to play his guitar and sing.

The sounds of João's voice and guitar were calm and sensitive.  But on the other hand he created the sonic world, which was equal to that of orchestra and percussions all by him only.  He put new harmony to the old songs he had been singing for nearly 50 years, reconstructed them and made them sound like new songs that emerged on the spot.  The audience faced with his enormous creativity and concentration and responded to his performance with maximum amount of concentration.  Everyone was fascinated with João's tender magic and the 2-hour-concert came to an end all too soon.

When those 5,000 audiences went home and went to bed with the fantastic memory of what they had just experienced for the first time in their lives, the Japanese staffs were called out by João and gathered at his hotel with anxiety.  But, according to one of the staffs, João said, "The Japanese audience is excellent.  I've been looking for the audience like this for decades.  My mind and Japanese mind were united.  I was feeling how each audience was feeling.  Japanese people were great.  A-ri-ga-tou (which means "thank you"), Japan.."

That was just a miracle.  The audiences who were fascinated by João also fascinated João.

The concert on the September 12th (the 2nd day) was greater than the first day in terms of the program and performance.  The audiences were much more relaxed than on the previous day and were embraced by João's music more naturally.  Even the applause between songs became the integrated part of his music.

The "incident" happened in the encores of the 3rd and the 4th days.  After João finished singing, he bent down his head, closed his eyes and didn't make a move.  15 minutes passed and 20 minutes passed.  He still made no move.  The continuing applause sounded like the wave and that was all.  What happened to João?  On the 4th day he who finally opened his eyes explained it:

"Beijo cada mão, cada coração (which means "I kiss each hand, each heart").

A-ri-ga-tou, Japan"

João closed his eyes and counted 5,000 souls one by one and thanked each one.  This was the moment that added one more page to his legacy.

So, João's first tour in Japan was over, leaving people in miracles and fascination....  But the story hasn't come to an end: João's performance in Japan will be released as a live CD titled "JOÃO GILBERTO in Tokyo" on his enthusiastic request.

The original recording was not made with the legitimate audio system: they just recorded his performance from the outputs of the mixing board onto the DAT just for his reference.  But João was deeply satisfied with the perfect sonic image, the quality of his own performance and the ambient that was created by the happy response between him and the audience when he listened to the playback.  And he decided to put the recording of the 2nd day on CD because it represented the ambient in the most ideal way.

Now, the live performance and the ambient that he idealized and had been trying to achieve are finally recorded on CD for the first time.  It is "JOÃO GILBERTO in Tokyo".  This is not the present only for the Japanese people who captured João's heart but also for the people all over the world who have loved his music for 45 years that João offers from the bottom of his heart.