Nascimento, Milton (1942–)

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Nascimento, Milton (1942–)

Milton Nascimento is a Brazilian singer and songwriter. Born on October 26, 1942, in Rio de Janeiro, Nascimento moved with his adoptive family at the age of three to Três Pontas, Minas Gerais, where he spent his formative years. He became a leading figure of the postbossa nova musical generation and one of Brazil's most popular composers and performers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Nascimento's voice is rich in timbre and wide in range, and many critics consider him the greatest Brazilian vocalist of his time. His music merges influences from rural toadas, Minas church choral music, bossa nova, nueva canción, the Beatles, jazz, and classical music; his songs feature strong melodies, elaborate harmonies, unusual rhythms, and a pronounced lyricism. He collaborated on songwriting with fellow Minas musicians Wagner Tiso, Beto Guedes, Lô Borges, Márcio Borges, Tavinho Moura, and Fernando Brant.

Nascimento gained national fame at the 1967 International Song Festival in Rio, when he was named best performer and his "Travessia" took the second-place song award; his debut album Milton Nascimento appeared that year. Important later albums include: Clube da esquina (with Lô Borges, 1972), Minas (1975), Native Dancer (with Wayne Shorter, 1975), Geraes (1976), Clube da esquina 2 (1978), Sentinela (1980), Missa dos quilombos (1982), and Miltons (with Herbie Hancock and Naná Vasconcelos, 1989). In the mid-1990s he signed with Warner Bros. and released Angelus (1995); Amigo (1996); Nascimento (1997), which won a 1998 Grammy for Best World Music Album; and Crooner (1999), which won a 2000 Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Pop Album. In 2006 the label released The Essential Collection: The Best of the EMI Odeon Years (1969–78).

Nascimento's songs have been recorded by Paul Desmond, Wayne Shorter, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Sarah Vaughan, Herbie Mann, the Manhattan Transfer, George Duke, and dozens of other musicians outside of Brazil. His concert appearances, from stadiums in Brazil to clubs in New York, continue to draw enthusiastic audiences.

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance .


José Eduardo Homem De Mello, Música popular brasileira (1976).

Ana Maria Bahiana, Nada será como antes (1980).

Vasco Mariz, A canção brasileira, 5th ed. (1985).

Charles Perrone, Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song: MPB, 1965–1985 (1989).

Additional Bibliography

McGowan, Chris, and Ricardo Pessanha. The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil, new edition. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.

Motta, Nelson. Noites Tropicais: Solos, improvisos e memórias musicais. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2000.

                                      Chris McGowan