For our very last show of this leg we're doing a benefit for a new copyright initiative called Creative Commons. We share the bill with Gilberto Gil, the Brazilian composer, singer, and now minister of culture.
Over the last few weeks I've been e-mailing Gil's people regarding the possibility of doing a song or 2 together. We've exchanged ideas and MP3s via Email, as we only have the afternoon soundcheck to rehearse together. It's been kind of crazy, but it works.
I did an English translation of "Asa Branca," the Luiz Gonzaga classic that Gil covers; at the end of his set, we alternate verses in Portuguese and English. Then, for our encore, Gil joins us for a "Brazilian" version of "Don't Fence Me In," which I recorded for Red, Hot, and Blue. Jamie worked up an arrangement for the Toscas, so we're all on board and are joined by Susano and Gustavo, Gil's percussionists. It is a mighty groove, to be somewhat immodest.
Gil's English is excellent, partly due to his years in exile in UK during the early 70s. Just before the show, fellow exile Caetano calls Gil (from Rio, I guess) to wish him well and say hello. I happen to be in Gil's dressing room discussing lyrics and say hello. I'm impressed that these 2 have remained so close. Their careers stretch back into the 60s — not too many musicians have bonds that far back.
The show goes very well. The folks at Wired magazine, who sponsored the benefit, throw a party at a nearby hotel and Malu joins us. I think she has a great time, though it's pretty late for a school night.
I ride my bicycle home. It might be around 3AM.
Recent discussions have often revolved around our upcoming leg in South American, a place I love but can't tour as often as I would like. I'm not a hugely popular act there (though I am known), so the expense of bringing a band of this size is considerable.