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“What are you listening to?” sneered my son, a reaction he reserves for one genre: easy listening. He never would’ve guessed that the voice crooning those lullabylike bossa novas in Portuguese was once jailed as a political threat to Brazil’s government. Now 67, Gilberto Gil has mellowed since his younger days: Over his five-decade career, he’s written TV jingles, blended rock and protest folk with samba rhythms, lived for three years in London in exile, and eventually served as Brazil’s minister of culture. He’s incorporated reggae and jazz beats and lent his music to a career’s worth of social causes. On his current tour—“The String Concert”—Gil is revisiting and rearranging his catalog, joined by his son, Bem Gil, on guitar and percussion, and Jaques Morelenbaum on cello. Easy listening? Nah, these melodies are timeless.
GILBERTO GIL PERFORMS AT 8 P.M. AT LISNER AUDITORIUM, 730 21ST ST. NW. $25–$75. (301) 808-6900.