2016 Berklee Honorary Doctorate: Milton Nascimento

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Milton Nascimento, a well-known Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. His father ran a radio station, where Nascimento was a DJ from time to time. He has lived in several cities around Brazil including Três Pontas, Laranjeiras, and Tijuca. His musical career really took off when working with two samba groups, Evolussamba and Sambacana. He developed a friendship with songwriter Lô Borges; together, they developed the artist collective Clube da Esesquina (which in English means “Corner Club”) in Belo Horizonte. Some of the artists who were part of this collective were guitarist Toninho Horta and pianist Wagner Tiso.

In 1966 Nascimento appeared on TV with Elis Regina; eventually the collective released Clube da Esquina in 1972. Nascimento’s trademark is his distinguished falsetto voice and the range he is able to reach, featured on songs such as “Maria, Maria” and “Bailes da Vida.” His big breakthrough occurred when international musicians discovered Nascimento’s voice, including saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Shorter featured Nascimento on the 1974 release Native Dancer, where his distinguished voice can be heard on the opener “Ponta de Areia”.

In 1994 Nascimento released Angelus, which featured greats such as Pat Metheny, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock. It wasn’t only jazz music in which Nascimento was involved: through his friendship with guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, he did work with 80s pop group Duran Duran. He co-wrote the song “Breath After Breath,” and when the group toured Brazil, he played with them. Other collaborations over the years included the Red Hot Organization for an AIDS-Benefit Album in 1996 and his 2004 work with a Brazilian heavy metal band Angra on song called “Last Redemption.”

Milton Nascimento at International Jazz Day in 2013
Wayne Shorter – Ponta de Areia
Angra – Last Redemption
Milton Nascimento – Dancing 
Milton Nascimento with Duran Duran
Milton Nascimento with James Taylor
Milton Nascimento with David Sanborn


          February 10, 2018