Zé Renato won the Brazilian Music Award for Best Popular Male Singer in 2009, but the company he keeps is likely to reveal more about this multi-faceted artist. Renato has crafted music at the behest of Brazilian music legend Antônio Carlos Jobim, penned songs with iconic songwriters Milton Nascimento and Joyce Moreno, toured with jazz great Al Di Meola, and had his work recorded by Jon Anderson of Yes. In his native Brazil, he is perhaps best known as a member of Boca Livre, a group with a string of popular records beginning in the 1970s. This summer, he performs at Lincoln Center Out of Doors as part of Brasil Summerfest and in celebration of his 60th Birthday and 40th year in music with special guests Vinícius Cantuária and Ricardo Silveira. 

Anima Milton Nascimento is an idol of mine and a friend who I was lucky enough to have as a writing partner for this song. He composed the lyrics, which refer to the soul, the essence of life, and our appreciation for the beauty of each moment. It was composed in 1982 and was later released on my album Meeting Point. This video, where I perform “Anima” with Milton, was recorded at a concert in Rio de Janeiro in 1996.

Pra Você Gostar de Mim

This song is technically a samba, but it has the air of a bossa nova. Joyce Moreno wrote the lyrics for “Pra Você Gostar de Mim” (“So That You Like Me”), which are about the tricks lovers will play to win someone else’s heart. We recorded it together as part of Joyce Live in São Paulo in 2008.

O Amor em Paz In 1995, I recorded “O Amor em Paz” (“Love in Peace”) with the participation of maestro Antônio Carlos Jobim and producer and instrumentalist Jacques Morelenbaum. The recording was made live at Tom’s [Jobim’s] home, where we also shot this video. I met him for the first time personally in 1980, when he was a guest on Boca Livre’s second album, Bicicleta (Bicycle). In 1985, he invited me to contribute to the soundtrack of the miniseries “O Tempo e o Vento,” produced by Globo TV. The lyrics for “O Amor em Paz” by Vinícius de Moraes are about a broken heart and end with the words "love is the saddest thing when it breaks..."
Papo de Passarim There are several versions of this song that I composed with the keyboardist Xico. This one was performed with singer Renato Braz in São Paulo in 2010. The song is about a conversation between little birds flying through the trees, chattering, singing, and announcing the new day.
Kid Cavaquinho/De Frente pro Crime These are two classics of Brazilian music by João Bosco, which I performed in tribute to him on Globo TV’s Som Brasil. "Kid Cavaquinho" is about a character who uses the cavaquinho [a small string instrument in the guitar family] almost as a kind of weapon, figuratively speaking. With the cavaquinho, he is able to face any situation. "De Frente pro Crime" is almost a screenplay about a crime scene, with a corpse stretched out on the sidewalk near a bar where rogues and workers join in conversation. The lyrics for these two songs were written by Aldir Blanc. Watch on the Globo player.
  • Celebrate Brasil Summerfest at Lincoln Center


    Thursday, August 4 at 7:30

    David Rubenstein Atrium


    Zé Renato with special guests Vinícius Cantuária and Ricardo Silveira

    Friday August 5 at 7:00

    Hearst Plaza