25 ANOS DE TRAVESSIA
"Nascimento transcends sound barrier", read the headline of "The Boston Globe", when commenting the tour 1986, which led more than 100 thousand people to concerts given in 21 cities in the United States, Canada, France, Denmark, England and Spain.
If Milton's voice can transcend the sound barrier, as the newspaper states, the success of this work, specially after this trip abroad, transcends important boundaries for Brazilian music, which contaminates audiences of all languages and ages, and showcases an art form of universal reach, without losing the strength that comes from its Brazilian roots.
"Singing was seeking the way to the Sun" (Nascimento and Brant). This search, which began in the 1960's in Belo Horizonte, has always been persistent and, several times, harsh. Today, after more than 20 years, audiences of all corners of Brazil, from the Oiapoque to the Chuí; from several regions of the United States - from coast to coast -, or from several countries all over the world get hyped when they hear Milton's singing and can seem him illuminated, in a trajectory that "is the way to the Sun". Or the heart of any person, anywhere in the globe, who searches, honestly, the true and permanent values of life. "My music is my life, and my life is to sing whatever else lies within me" says the artist.
In the United States, with performances in Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Detroit, Chicago, New York (2 nights) and Boston, Milton always found packed theatres and more: his LP "Encontros e Despedidas", which held the 32nd place in the Jazz section of Billboard, climbed in only 3 weeks to the 7th post of the top selling albums in the US. An unheard of achievement, if we take into account that the record was totally produced in Brazil, and recorded in Portuguese.
Success still held other surprises in North America. The greatest names in Jazz of the time, such as Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick COrea and Bob McFerrin didn't let the opportunity slide by: knowing of Milton's work's quality, several of them did not hesitate to going on stage with him and lending from their talents, playing together in several concerts. The same happened in Montreal, in Canada, where Milton took part in the International Jazz Festival, opened by the fantastic Ella Fitzgerald.
Copenhague's skies were cloudy and a fresh breeze blew in the awe-inspiring Parliament Plaza. But none of these signs were enough to stop 14 thousand people from filling the square to wait for Milton Nascimento. A very special crowd for Milton, who performed for the fourth time in Denmark, a country with a culture as different from ours as could be, and in Copenhague, enchanted city, worthy of its Tivoly Park and the magical storyteller immortal Andersen. The concert lasted for more than an hour, and took place under pouring rain. But the show went on, and nobody left. The square looked even more beautiful, colored by the thousands of umbrellas of people dancing to the sound of Maria Maria, or Nos Bailes da Vida. In every newspaper and TV channels, just and generous spaces were granted to applaud the strength of Brazilian music. In one, a curious title read:
"Fourteen thousand people in the wet concert".
In Paris, Milton participated in the Festival Coleurs Bresil, a joint operation by the Ministries for culture of both Brazil and France. When arriving to the Zenith Theatre, Milton encountered yet again his friend and "brother" Wayne Shorter, with his sax ready to come into action. Later, in the south of France, in a town called Vienne, a concert in an immense roman amphitheater, with its benches of secular stones. In the dark night, the crowd watched the show in silence. Milton's voice cut the night, and nested in the hearts, flowed through the veins and arteries, and at the end, exploded through the pores, making people dance and sing together, lighting up the night with thousands of little lights, made with matches and lighters. The tall benches got mixed up with the sky, and, for that night, Vienne had more stars.
In London, where he performed for the first time, the expectation was immense. But nothing was different there. Although it rained on the night of the concert, the Odeon Hammersmith Theatre was packed. Backstage, before the show, Milton was hugged by Sting, who wished all kinds of success. And during the show, one thing consolidated his absolute success: right up front, in one of the first rows, Milton was applauded by one very special Englishman: Mick Jagger.
In Spain, a lot of heat. In Barcelona, Madrid, Avila, Segovia, Valencia, Aviles... But the hottest warmth came from the heart of people. It was hot in the Mediterranean voice of Maria Del Mar Bonet, a Spanish singer from the region of Cataluña, successful for her beautiful voice and the strength of the songs sung. Songs that speak of simple and profound things: things of the life of the people from her motherland, things from the heart. She and Milton performed together. And Milton also presented, besides his band, the mineiro group Uakti. In Madrid, in the gardens of the Royal Palace, opened specially for that specific concert, another special appearance: Pat Metheny, who was in Rome, heard of Milton's concert and no sooner took a plane and brought his amazing guitar to the show. Applauses from everywhere. Deliriums, even from the public.
Standing. Asking for more and storming through the Spanish night.
Yet again the truth is confirmed "All artists must go where the people is" (Nascimento and Brant)
MUITAS EXCURSÕES - MANY EXCURSIONS
Milton's last excursion began here in Brazil, with concerts in São Paulo (Ibirapuera - 45 thousand people), Rio (inauguration of the Apoteose square, 80 thousand people) and Belo Horizonte (Mineirão Square - 130 thousand people). Coming from such a hit, the results overseas couldn't have been different: once again Brazilian Popular Music enchanted the world. Starting with New York, at the Carnegie Hall, where for the first time a Brazilian musician performed alone. For two nights, Carnegie Hall, jammed packed, saw the phenomenon The New York Times had spoken of in the front page of its weekend edition. During the midnight Saturday concert, one of the most traditional in New York, where the presence of artists is common, Milton Nascimento wrapped up with one of the longest ovations ever seen in the old Carnegie Hall. The stage, covered in American flowers set the tone of Brazilian success. On Sunday, again, the apotheosis and consecration of one of the most perfect artists in contemporary music, according to some American critics. With the repercussion and comments still very strong (he was interviewed by some of the most important newspapers and magazines in the US), Milton left for Quebec, as the first Brazilian personality to ever be officially invited to participate in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of that State. He was welcomed by the mayors of Quebec, Montreal and Lac Beauport, where he was given the medal for Cultural Merit. There Milton received several proposals to reside in Quebec. The next step was Europe, lovely Denmark who's always welcomed Milton so well. Caringly, he paid back with a song in honor of that country. In Copenhagen (every time he arrives, he is a guest of honor of captain Kay Sorensen in jaunts to Danish islands in the northern sea) Milton performed two concerts in the Montmartre, a holy shrine for Jazz, where great names from around the world perform. Wagner Tiso and his band opened the season. After Copenhagen, Milton set to find new markets: in Germany, which seemed cold and demanding. The Frankfurt Opera, where a new surprise came to be: a full house, and a lot of good vibes, in a concert transmitted by radio stations. Here too Milton climbs on stage many times, under warm applause. Vienna, birthplace of music, with its Blue Danube was the following concert. In the Franz Schubert room, where Gustav Mahler performed several of his pieces, Milton made ladies in furs and coats and frowning men dance and sing, in a concert aired live by the Vienna radio. Paris, a city open to the world, welcomed him for a concert in its newest concert room: Le Zenith, an acrylic gymnasium for 12 thousand people, where, in a show of light, Milton rekindled the magic ever present in his Parisian shows - this was his fifth season in Paris, having, in the eighties spent fifteen days in the Theatre de La Ville. Fatherly birthplace of our civilization, Spain was the following home. Official guest of the Minister for Culture, Milton showed in Spain, for the first time, his iberian voice and roots. A guest participant, in the year the Spanish government paid tribute to our Cuban brothers through the "Llegó La Salsa" project, Milton performed five times. The first one was in Barcelona, at the Plaza D'El Rey, where Isabel de Castela once receptioned Columbus, after the discovery of America. In this emotional and sensible concert, millions of people pressed together in the historical streets of the Gothic District, while Milton masterfully made his voice echo on the suffered and expensive walls of the Royal Palace, raising goosebumps on the crowd's skin. This show had its duration tripled by the general emotion. At some moments, five seagulls who inhabit the Palace flew over Milton and his magnetized audience. In Barcelona, he did yet one more presentation, for the Catalã TV. After the now anthological concert in Barcelona, Milton performed in Madrid, as an already known star in Spain, to a sold out Real Madrid gymnasium. In the Canary Islands, in Santa Cruz do Tenerife, Milton performed in the bulls' plaza, where, surprisingly, the local audience accompanied him dancing his songs. The last Spanish performance was in Alcalá de Henares, land of Cervantes and his Don Quixote de La Mancha. College town, and traditionally young, with its Cultural July, it prepared Milton's loving farewell. Rome and its Brazilian festival welcomed Milton Nascimento and his group in the Italic Foro for a concert outdoors, aired by both radio and television, with an audience of over seven thousand people in the artist's first performance in Italian ground. The repercussion of this show went on in several articles in Italian press. The Nice Festival, dedicated that year to Brazilian culture by initiative of Minister Jack Lang, had in its opening act a record of public in its fifteen years. Milton Nascimento's performance was watched by thousands of French, live, on by on the TV. During sixty five days of touring, in performances that consecrated him an artist of the world, Milton Nascimento showcased himself as a song, as a chant that came from the Sun country, carrying in his gigantic voice of mineiro calmness, the light of the stars, the joys of birds' dances that only children know how to keep.
A SUCCESS WORLDWIDE, MILTON IS BRAZIL.