His career began on the accordion in the 50's inspired by Luiz Gonzaga, by sounds coming out of the radio and by religious processions in the interior of Brazil’s Northeast. With the arrival of João Gilberto, Bossa Nova, and Dorival Caymmi and his songs about sand and sea, were so different from the desert world of the Sertão. So influenced that Gil put down the accordion and took up the guitar then the electric guitar nurturing harmonies of his work to this day. His songs from early on portrayed his country and his musicality developed into very personal rhythmic and melodic forms. Then there was his meeting with Caetano Veloso and the birth of Tropicalismo, a movement that generated dissatisfaction with the dictatorship and both end up being exiled in London. Upon returning to Brazil, Gil continued his rich phonographic production which led to the recording of over 60 albums, 4 million in sales and 9 Grammys.
In 2002 as Minister of Culture, he began his involvement in leading Brazil’s presence in Forums, Seminars and Conferences around the world. Working on topics ranging from new technologies, copyright, cultural development and diversity and the importance of South American countries in the globalized world. A unique musical ambassador driven by strong cultural conviction. His actions have been recognized by several nations by granting him Artist of Peace by UNESCO in 1999, FAO Ambassador, France's Légion d'Honneur, Sweden's Polar Music Prize, among many others.
In 2015 and 2016, he celebrated his 50-year career with Caetano Veloso in a historic show “Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música”. In 2017, Trinca de Aces along with Nando Reis and Gal Costa toured Brazil and Europe. In 2018, he released the album Ok Ok OK, about his family, the illness he was going through and the questioning of society’s demands of him. The album won the Latin Grammy in November 2019 in the Best Brazilian Music Album category. In 2021, recognition of his life’s work was recently recognized by receiving a Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Berklee and the 20th chair in the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL).
In 2022 Gil toured Europe celebrating his 80th birthday with the entire family on stage and backstage. The tour was filmed for the 2nd season of an Amazon Prime Video series that will air in 2023 ¨Traveling with the Gil¨. Season one ¨Em Casa com os Gil¨ is a great success for the channel.
Gilberto Gil & Family “Aquele Abraço Tour” will be a celebration of his 60-year career and 50 years of world touring that began in 1971. His first performance at the Montreux festival was in 1978. In 2023 Gil will play tribute to the most prestigious Jazz and World Music festivals in Europe. Festivals that have given him the stage to present his music and diversity of Brazilian culture. His family and friends will perform hit songs from his illustrious career.