The calendar read March 1964 when a bossa nova song became famous all over the planet and turned its singer, Astrud Gilberto (1940-2023), into a star. It was “The Girl from Ipanema”, a composition by Antonio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, which had been performed in 1962. But it was Astrud’s performance with American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz that launched it into a worldwide hit.
Gilberto was born Astrud Evangelina Weinert, in Bahia, Brazil, to a Brazilian mother and a German father. She grew up in Rio de Janeiro. Her father was a language teacher and she became fluent in several languages. She married João Gilberto in 1959. She later had an affair with her husband’s partner, Stan Getz. In 1963 she immigrated to the USA. Where she began touring with Getz. Starting as a bossa nova and American jazz singer, Gilberto began recording her own compositions in the 1970s. She recorded songs in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Italian, French and Japanese. She received the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992 and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002. He left this world on June 5, 2023; he was 83 years old.