We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


In soundbite shorthand, Gilberto Gil might be described as a Brazilian disciple of Bob Marley. He introduced reggae rhythms to his home country, toured with Jimmy Cliff, and performs “Stir It Up” and other Marley compositions live, as on the recent concert recording Quanta Live. But Gil’s certainly not riding anyone’s coattails: During his 30-year, 33-album career, he co-founded Tropicþ.lia, explored the entire African diaspora from within its Brazilian and Caribbean variations, and created a world-pop sound from his samba and baiao roots along the way. Live, Gil’s works might have trad guitar melodies and catchy lyrics, but his trademark rhythmic edge intensifies them both instrumentally and vocally. On Quanta Live , Gil, never short of social commentary, offers “Pela Internet,” a song about a dissatisfying failure to communicate: “You’re misunderstanding me….Don’t cut my connection,” he barks over the hard rhythms. Gil’s influence is inestimable in Brazil, where besides scoring countless hits, he’s held political office (he is currently secretary of culture in his hometown of Salvador) and championed environmentalism. In American pop, his sway can be felt in David Byrne and Peter Gabriel’s often clumsy attempts to make their music multiculti-funky, unencumbered, and socially conscious. Don’t blame Gil for their mistakes: He’s the real thing. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $25-$35. (202) 994-6800. (John Dugan)