30 indispensible Brazilian tunes

Fresh out of college, I was fortunate to spend three summers working in Brazil. Those summers remain some of the most important experiences of my life, and were the genesis of several life-long friendships and an abiding love of Brazilian music. I sampled it all – bossa nova, tropicalia, MPB, samba, 80s & 90s rock…

This summer, two of my favorite things in the world, soccer and Brazil, converge when Brazil hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Opening day is June 12th, a day I’ve been waiting for since, well, four years ago.  So I’m counting down the 30 days to June 12th with 30 of my favorite songs from Brazil’s rich musical heritage.

Let me know what you think –


Thursday, June 12th
Ponta de Lança Africano – Jorge Ben

Today’s the day; let the games begin – Joga bola!


Wednesday, June 11th
Frases Ventias – Carlinhos Brown

One of my favorite songwriters ever, Carlinhos Brown is best known for being funky and heavy on the drums. But I think I like Carlinhos the balladeer the best:


Tuesday, June 10th
Gotas de Luar – Marisa Monte


Sunday, June 8th
Já Sei Namorar – Tribalistas


Saturday, June 7th
Oh! Mulher Infiel – Secos e Molhados

Ney Matogrosso – one of my favorite voices, in any language:


Friday, June 6th
Sozinho – Caetano Veloso

Heartbreaking performance – “Onde está você agora?”


Thursday, June 5th
Amor I Love You – Marisa Monte


Wednesday, June 4th
Eu Te Amo, Te Amo, Te Amo – Roberto Carlos

If Neil Diamond were Brazilian…


Tuesday, June 3rd
Gostava Tanto De Você – Tim Maia

Can you ever have too many horns?


Monday, June 2nd
Os Alquimistas Estão Chegando – Jorge Ben


Sunday, June 1st
Doralice – Stan Getz & João Gilberto


Saturday, May 31st
Boombox – Mosquitos

As American as they are Brazilian, but who cares?


Friday, May 30th
San Vicente – Milton Nascimento


Thursday, May 29th
Domingo no Parque – Gilberto Gil

Another unforgettable journey from Senhor Gil – “Olha a faca!”:


Wednesday, May 28th
Luzia Luluza – Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil takes us on a cinematic journey:


Tuesday, May 27th
Hoje Eu Quero Sair Só – Lenine


Monday, May 26th
Você – Tim Maia


Sunday, May 25th
Segue o Seco – Marisa Monte

Lump in my throat every time:


Saturday, May 24th
Mas Que Nada – Jorge Ben

How is Jorge Ben this cool?


Friday, May 23rd
Caramba!… Galileu da Galiléia – Jorge Ben


Thursday, May 22nd
Andar Com Fé – Gilberto Gil

First heard this on David Byrne’s excellent compilation Beleza Tropical, the disc that introduced me to Brazilian music:


Wednesday, May 21st
O Leãzinho – Caetano Veloso

Live version for better appreciation of Caetano’s awesomeness:


Tuesday, May 20th
Dança da Solidão – Marisa Monte

Brazil at its most painfully beautiful:


Monday, May 19th
Ramilonga – Vitor Ramil

Haunting song of saudades for Porto Alegre:


Sunday, May 18th
Gita – Raul Seixas

Remember, these are my favorite tunes, not my favorite videos:


Saturday, May 17th
O Patrão Nosso de Cada Dia – Secos & Molhados

I was going to choose”Sangue Latino”, but the video was far too frightening:


Friday, May 16th
Há Tempos – Legião Urbana

The Smiths + 80s angst = classic Brazilian new wave:


Thursday, May 15th
Resposta – Skank

Out of nowhere, massive party band delivers brilliant piece of Brazilian Britpop:


Wednesday, May 14th
Samba da Bênção – Vinicius de Moraes w/ Toquinho


Tuesday, May 13th
Baby  – Gal Costa

Warning: this recording is an aphrodesiac. It is solely responsible for several dodgy decisions I made while in Brazil 😉 Listen at your own risk:

One comment

  1. […] This summer, two of my favorite things in the world, soccer and Brazil, converge when Brazil hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Opening day is June 12th, a day I’ve been waiting for since, well, four years ago.  Join me as I count down the 30 days to June 12th with 30 of my favorite songs from Brazil’s rich musical heritage. […]