Bossa nova is a genre of Brazilian music which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and 60s, initially among young musicians and college students who chose to compose more optimistic music to describe their generation as opposed to the suffering in the tunes and lyrics of songs from the previous decades. The sound was born in Rio de Janeiro’s south zone, which comprises areas such as Ipanema and Copacabana.
Today it is one of the best-known Brazilian genres abroad. A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova is most commonly performed on the nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick. Its purest form could be considered unaccompanied guitar with vocals, as created, pioneered, and exemplified by Joao Gilberto. Even in larger, jazz-like arrangements for groups, there is almost always a guitar that plays the underlying rhythm, similar to what you can expect to see when The Roger Kellaway Trio, Teka and Tom Scott perform at the JAS Cafe on March 2-3.