The Artistry of… Antônio Carlos Jobim

If you are known by one name, you are said to be mononymous. Antônio Carlos Jobim was, and is, that.

His name, like an artistic presence: defining, introducing, and sharing the pulse of a people and collective culture. Jobim… Just by saying the last name, you are already swept away and into the lilting and seductive rhythms of bossa nova and the essence of Brazil of a certain focus and age. The artist ambassador is a precious agent. Pure, in that they are not positioned out of self-placement — theirs is simply and naturally happening to them.

Jobim was an innovative and complex composer, merging the folk and popular song of his homeland with sophisticated harmonies and chord structure. This method attracted artists from all over the world to his music. Already accessible, the music became magnetic and infectious. João Gilberto shared in this refining and defining of the culture as it spread across the world. Gilberto, another whose last name has come to be the music he played, was just one of many agents of the sound, including fellow artists Astrud Gilberto, Chico Buarque and Sergio Mendes. Out of one name the beautiful music — a dynamic introduction of a beautiful culture.

The Artistry of… airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.