'Girl from Ipanema' Returns

Classic 1960s bossa nova gets a Bay Area salute from Brazilian singer Claudia Villela
Claudia Villela

A half century ago this summer, with Beatlemania and Vietnam just revving up, Americans and others around the globe were nonetheless captivated by a woman, "tall and tan and young and lovely." This 'Girl' represented a watermark in American jazz as well as Brazilian music and even politics.

She was 'The Girl from Ipanema.'

On July 20, some talented musicians are giving that song, the album from which it came, and the bossa nova movement it led a rare yet deserving tribute with a show at the SF Jazz Center.

When originally released in 1964, the Getz/Gilberto album was an international sensation, the first jazz record to win the 'Album of the Year' Grammy and the last in the 20th century.

The upcoming show by Brazilian-born vocalist Claudia Villela and a four-piece combo will recreate the Getz/Gilberto album sequentially and entirely—it is the whole show.

The original album was a glorious, seductive collaboration between four primary individuals: saxophonist Stan Getz, guitarist João Gilberto, composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, and previously unrecorded vocalist Astrud Gilberto.

Getz already had a few popular records that were bossa nova, which was created in the late '50s by Gilberto, Jobim, and other Brazilians by playing jazz with samba beats. The genre took somewhat of a turn toward less carefree, more topical lyics, though, after the American-supported military coup in 1964.

Villela and San Francisco saxophonist Harvey Wainapel performed Getz/Gilberto three times in two days last February in smaller venues than the setting for the July 20 show, which will take place at SF Jazz Center's 700-seat Miner Auditorium. They will be backed this round by guitarist Bob Basa, bassist Gary Brown, drummer Celso Alberti, and an unidentified special guest.

For more information about the SF Jazz Center, click here. To purchase tickets for the bossa nova show, click here.