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When your daily beachside stroll inspires an iconic tune that defined an era

When your daily beachside stroll inspires an iconic tune that defined an era featured image

Helo Penheiro, the actual girl from Ipanema, the muse for the iconic song

Today marks the birthday of Antonio Carlos Jobim. If you love bossa nova, you have him to thank. Bossa nova, roughly translated as “new style”, is the “sway from side to side” kind of music, as opposed to jazz, which is more “forward and back”. Doesn’t this music make you want to don a tailored suit or a little black dress, backcomb the coif, and saunter over to the bar? Cocktails were very much a part of the early 1960s, when bossa nova hit the States, before becoming a global phenomenon. This music and drinks go hand in hand.

Jobim became famous when he teamed up with American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto, and his wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto, who recorded the original version. The album “Getz/Gilberto” kicked off the bossa nova craze, and won 1965 Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group” and “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical”. “Girl from Ipanema” (inspired by Helo Penheiro, who walked by a beach in Ipanema every day) won “Record of the Year”. The song has since been covered by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Krall, Amy Winehouse and many others.
Here is the original, sung by Astrud Gilberto. Part of the reason I chose this video was the glorious early ‘60s TV set!

Antonio Carlos Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and died December 8, 1994, in New York City, USA.


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