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Window to the World: A Tribute to Brazilian Music Legend Milton Nascimento

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Clarice Assad
Chicago-based singer, pianist and composer Clarice Assad is the daughter of world-renowned guitarist Sergio Assad. Her new album "Window to the World" features almost a dozen of Milton Nascimento's tunes performed by Assad and her brother in combination with a group of Danish jazz musicians and a drummer from Japan.

Since the late 1960’s, singer and composer Milton Nascimento has influenced artists across the musical spectrum inside and outside his native country of Brazil. His songwriting career began in earnest when his compositions were recorded by legendary singer Elis Regina in the mid-sixties. Shortly afterwards, he started making his own records and eventually rose to international fame. He is considered a world music superstar. Jazz audiences learned about him through his collaborations with Sarah Vaughan, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter.

Singer and pianist Clarice Assad started listening to Nascimento before she even learned how to talk.  Her new album “Window to the World” is a tribute to this living legend. It includes arrangements of  songs like Cancao Do Sal (Salt Song), Milagre Dos Peixes (Miracle of the Fishes) and selections from Nascimento’s pivotal 1972 album Clube Da Esquina.

Nascimento is now 80 years old and gave his farewell tour late last year, wrapping up a six-decade performing career that culminated in almost fifty albums.

In this conversation, Assad discusses her appreciation for Nascimento’s music, the challenges of translating of the meanings of the songs across linguistic and cultural divides and the ways that Nascimento’s music intersects with jazz.