Music genius, Milton Nascimento, at the age of 80, after a career that transcends eras and generations, announced his “Last Music Session”, the career closing tour brilliantly directed by his son and artistic manager Augusto Nascimento.
It is practically impossible to define Milton with a single term, but if it were possible, we could call him “the singer of the new world”. Milton shows us that dreams resist brute force, that, despite everything, there is a sailboat always ready to go. He is unique in space and time. His work and trajectory are the bibliographic basis for hundreds of researches. The one who had a record with his songs sung by the legendary Sarah Vaughan, concerts, admiration and friendship with the masterful Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, among many others.
At a time when the media strives for current Brazilian music to be heard, it is necessary to learn from the elders. And in that sense, Milton teaches classes on entering the international scene through the front door, being respected for his genius and original talent, without bowing down. On the contrary, it was the world that bowed to him. He was also the 1998 Grammy Award winner in the world music category and an honorary doctorate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he will perform in his final session.
In Brazil, he traveled everywhere in more than 60 years of career, lived with and was revered by music divinities — and how can I not remember the magnificent Elis Regina, his dear friend, owner of his thoughts that travel to the times when they made the most perfect duo on stage and in life. Wherever he is, we’re sure she’s watching over him with an intense smile, celebrating her three-pronged friend’s every move.
Not even a thousand-page book could fit all the song partnerships, such as the incredible Gal Costa, her brilliant brothers Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Ney Matogrosso and Caetano Veloso, the irreverent Rita Lee, or even Mercedes Sosa, the voice of America Latin and —why not say?— from the Third World…
But whatever the tribute, his career must go through his partners at Clube da Esquina, Lô Borges, Wagner Tiso, Fernando Brant, Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Márcio Borges, as well as Flávio Venturini, Ronaldo Bastos and many others who made that corner a capital of Brazilian music.
As he defines himself, he is the most Minas Gerais native of Brazil, who slowly, with his shy way and Bituca beak, is leading the way towards a new era. He reminds me of Oxalá, his father, who is also the father of all heads. He is the one who steps slowly, in slow but firm steps, which may even take time, but always arrive at the destination. And when he arrives, all the people are silent, such reverence for the eldest.
In the tradition I follow, getting old is a gift, a post of respect and wisdom. And, at a given moment, the oldest meets the youngest, who brings the mission to continue the steps. And Milton has been meeting the younger ones, especially Criolo, Maria Gadu, Zé Ibarra, Tiago Iorc, Samuel Rosa, Rogério Flausino and many others.
Milton Nascimento is something to keep under lock and key, inside the heart. He was a missionary of light who sang for women and accompanied them on so many journeys. Few feminist meetings do not end with “Maria, Maria”, the anthem of black Brazilian women.
In these decades of career, his songs are immortalized, and the feeling of those who listen to them is that they always learn something capriciously hidden in the poetry of their lyrics, which motivate us to follow, resist and be happy.
Your tour is a historic moment in culture, ladies and gentlemen. In just two hours, more than 35,000 tickets were sold, something spectacular. Scenes of a crowded audience, with the right to a crowded Mineirão, are yet to come. I’m sure I’ll be there to applaud him as he sings in front of his loyal, multi-talented band.
With his retirement, a golden age of music ends. The singer from the new world has done a lot for us and when announcing this tour he says “now it’s up to you”. How lucky for us to have been blessed by so much, but at the same time, what an impossible mission. Milton Nascimento is unique.
We can only be grateful for the opportunity to have lived with this stage and life genius. Let’s bow and applaud one of the greatest names in music in the world, in all of history. Long live Milton Nascimento! Long live the Brazil of the new world!
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