Who was Astrud Gilberto?

Who was Astrud Gilberto? Agua de Beber (TV show in 1965 ) with sheet music

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Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto, born Astrud Evangelina Weinert (Salvador, March 29, 1940), is a Brazilian bossa nova and jazz singer of international fame.

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Born in Salvador, Bahia, daughter of a Brazilian mother and a German father, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her family in 1947, to live on Avenida Atlântica, in Copacabana. Her father was a language and literature teacher. Her mother had a great passion for music, she sang and played the mandolin. The youngest of three sisters, she was extremely shy and spent years repressing her interest in singing. As a teenager, her best friend Nara Leão, then an aspiring singer, encouraged her friend to release her voice. It was also Nara who introduced Astrud and João Gilberto, who became his girlfriend’s greatest supporter. João and Astrud got married in 1959. In less than a year, she was expecting her firstborn, Marcelo.

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In May 1960, Astrud took to the stage for the first time, in the historic show Noite do Amor, do Sorriso e da Flor, in the amphitheater of the Faculty of Architecture at UFRJ, organized to celebrate the release of João Gilberto’s second LP, O Amor, o Sorriso, a Flor (Odeon, 1960), and in which Nara Leão, Dori Caymmi, Chico Feitosa, Johnny Alf, the Trio Irakitan, Elza Soares, Sérgio Ricardo, Sylvia Telles, Pedrinho Mattar, Norma Bengell, Nana Caymmi, the vocal group Os Cariocas, Hélcio Milito, Bebeto Castilho, Roberto Menescal and others. The show was produced and presented by Ronaldo Bôscoli.

In 1963, Astrud and João moved to the United States. In the same year, Astrud participates in the album Getz/Gilberto together with her husband and saxophonist Stan Getz, with arrangements by Tom Jobim. Astrud, who had never sung professionally, takes part in the recordings, but, during subsequent performances, discovered that she suffered from stage fright.

In 1964, months after the recordings of Getz/Gilberto, João separated from Astrud. In 1965, Astrud released her first solo album. Many others followed. From 1965 to 2002, singing bossa-nova, MPB, jazz standards and American and European songs, in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German, she recorded 18 solo albums.

She continues to live in the United States. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia, with her children, bassist Marcelo Gilberto (born in 1960, from her marriage to João Gilberto) and Greg Lasorsa, from her second marriage.

The success of Astrud Gilberto’s work on the song The Girl from Ipanema made her a prominent name in jazz music, and she began making solo recordings.

Although Astrud began as a performer of Brazilian bossa nova and American jazz, she also began recording her own compositions in the 1970s. The song ‘Astrud’, performed by Polish singer Basia, is a tribute to her.

Astrud Gilberto received the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement (1992) and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002.

The singer also became known for her work as an artist, as well as her activism in favor of animal rights.


  • Stan Getz e Astrud Gilberto – Getz Au-Go-Go (Verve, 1964)
  • The Astrud Gilberto Album (Verve, 1964)
  • The Shadow Of Your Smile (Verve, 1965)
  • Look To The Rainbow (Verve, 1965)
  • Beach Samba (Verve, 1966)
  • A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness com Walter Wanderley (Verve, 1967)
  • Windy (Verve, 1968)
  • September 17, 1969 (Verve, 1969)
  • Gilberto Golden Japanese Album (Verve, 1969)
  • I Haven’t Got Anything Better To Do (Verve, 1970)
  • Astrud Gilberto With Stanley Turrentine (CTI, 1971)
  • Astrud Gilberto Now (Perception, 1972)
  • That Girl From Ipanema (Audio Fidelity, 1977)
  • Astrud Gilberto Plus James Last Orchestra (Polygram, 1987)
  • Live In New York (Pony Canyon, 1996)
  • Temperance (Pony Canyon, 1997)
  • Jungle (Magya, 2002)
  • The Diva Series (Verve, 2003)
  • The Deadly Affair (Verve, 1965)
Other albums featuring Astrud Gilberto
  • Stan Getz e João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (Verve, 1963)
  • Shigeharu Mukai e Astrud Gilberto – So & So – Mukai Meets Gilberto (Denon, 1982)
  • Michael FranksPassionfruit (Warner Bros., 1983)
  • Etienne Daho – Eden (Virgin, 1996)
  • George MichaelLadies And Gentleman – Best of George Michael (Sony, 1998)

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