Egberto Gismonti

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Egberto Gismonti
Egberto Gismonti, 1980
Background information
Birth name Egberto Amin Gismonti
Born (1947-12-05) 5 December 1947 (age 68)
Carmo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Genres Progressive rock, folk rock, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments 8-string guitar, 10 string guitar, piano, wood flutes, kalimba, indian organ
Years active 1969–present
Labels ECM, EMI
Associated acts Jan Garbarek
Charlie Haden
Nana Vasconcelos

Egberto Amin Gismonti (born December 5, 1947 in Carmo, Rio de Janeiro)[1] is a Brazilian composer, guitarist and pianist.[1]


The European-Libanese heretage is significant for Gismonti, with a mother from Sicily and father from Beirut, Lebanon. Bornn in the small town of Carmo, Rio de Janeiro, into a musical family. When 6 years old he started studying the piano at Conservatório Brasileiro de Música. After studying the classical repertoire in Brazil for one and a half decade, he went to Paris to delve into the modern music. He studied under guidence of Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), after acceptence as a student by the composer Jean Barraqué, a disciple of Anton Webern and Schoenberg. Boulanger encouraged Gismonti to write the collective Brazilian experience into his music.[2]

Gismonti is an autodidact guitarist and after returning to Brazil, he designed guitars with more then 6 strings, thereby expanding the posibilities of the instrument. Approaching the fretboard as if it were a keyboard, Gismonti gives listeners the impression that there is more than a single guitar player. Gismonti's sojourn in the Xingu region of the Amazon basin has given him an experience that has had lasting affects on the encoounter of life and music. This is documented musically in tunes like "Yualapeti" and "Sapain" (Yualapeti shaman, Sapain) and in the recordings Danças das Cabeças (Dances of the Heads, 1977), Sol de Meio Dia (Mid-day Sun, 1978), which he dedicated to the Xingu, and Duas Vozes (Two Voices, 1984).[3]

The musical career of Gismonti spans five decades. The major phases are distinguished by record company, the ensemble format, and the musical collaborators. The most importent ensembles are his Brazilian group 'Academia de Danças', including Mauro Senise (saxophone and flutes), Zeca Assumpção (bass) and Nenê (Realcino Lima Filho, drums and percussion), the duo with Naná Vasconcelos (percussion), and the trio including Charlie Haden (bass) and Jan Garbarek (saxophone). Dança das Cabecas, the first ECM record, was nominated 'Album Of The Year' by Stereo Review] and received the 1977 'Großer Deutscher Schallplattenpreis'.[4]



Albums as producer and/or arranger:

  • Naná Vasconcelos - Saudades (ECM, 1979)

Musical Contributions

  • Paul Horn (musician) Altura Do Sol (High Sun)/The Altitude of the Sun (1975, Epic); music composed by Gismonti, who played with Horn on recording
  • Yeahwon Shin - Yeahwon (2010); Gismonti plays piano on the final track


  1. ^ a b AllMusic Biography
  2. ^ Gilman, Bruce. "Egberto Gismonti". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  3. ^ "Egberto Gismonti". Biography. ECM Records. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  4. ^ "Egberto Gismonti". Biography. AllAboutJAzz. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  5. ^ "Egberto Gismonti é destaque na série "Discos Fundamentais"" (in Portuguese). OlhoVivo. 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  6. ^ "Egberto Gismonti". Discography. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 

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