Latin Roots: Bossa Nova, Brazil's Answer To Jazz
This installment of the Latin Roots series for World Cafe explores bossa nova music, guided by Latin-music expert Ernesto Lechner. Lechner grew up in Buenos Aires, where his parents' record collection consisted of classical records and a solitary bossa nova LP. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he was immersed in Latin music and subsequently became a music journalist, publishing several books on the subject. Lechner co-hosts the radio show Latin Alternative and works as a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. He's also the author of Rock en Espanol: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion.
Here, Lechner joins World Cafe host David Dye to explore bossa nova — including the origins, influences and musical components of this popular style of Brazilian music. Bossa nova originated in Brazil in the late '50s, when a new generation of musicians, fascinated with American jazz, combined it with samba. Lechner shares two bossa nova tracks to give a sense of the genre: "Samba De Uma Nota So" by Silvia Telles and "So Nice (Summer Samba)" by Bebel Gilberto from the album Tanto Tempo.
This story originally ran on June 14, 2012.