Things to do in Miami: Milton Nascimento at Parker October 1, 2022
Although some older artists like Paul McCartney, Caetano Veloso and the Rolling Stones continue to tour, Brazilian icon Milton Nascimento has decided he’s had enough. His 60-year career has earned him numerous accolades, including an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston. The honorary title was given to the self-taught musician who cannot read music but is one of South America’s most important musical legends, both for his dramatic tenor voice and his unique acoustic guitar technique. .
The Grammy winner hasn’t explained why he decided to quit touring, which coincides with his 80th birthday. This could be linked to the many health issues he has faced over the years, including a stay in a US hospital in 2014 due to heart disease.
“I dedicate this last tour to friends and fans,” he said in a video posted on his website. “This will be my farewell to live performances.”
That, however, doesn’t mean he stops the music altogether. At the end of the video, he faces the camera and makes it clear that this is not the end. “No music, ever,” Nascimento added. He would have other work on the pipeline.
It might be difficult for English-speaking audiences to understand Nascimento’s cultural strength in Brazil. Although he has played in smaller theaters and clubs outside his native country – such as his week-long residency at New York’s Blue Note in 2006 – he generally fills football stadiums even though he is a shy singer who often performs seated on a stool with an acoustic guitar, a habit likely influenced by his bossa nova predecessors. The songs he brought to this world are anthems for many Brazilians. Even if some of his compatriots are not fervent fans, they know by heart at least one of his songs, which were recorded by Elis Regina, Maria Rita and Marisa Monte.
He was also instrumental in boosting the careers of other singer-songwriters from the southeastern state of Minas Gerais with the 1972 release Esquina Cluba collaborative album ranked best Brazilian album by a poll conducted by the Brazilian version of rolling stone. A simple guitar riff or an intro from one of his hits is instantly recognizable, much like The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” might be to English-speaking fans of the same generation.
Although longtime fans were saddened by the news of Nascimento’s retirement from the stage, they will have the consolation that his music will always be with them. Fans in South Florida will get to see him perform songs like “Cancao da America,” “Travessia” and “Maria, Maria” on stage for the last time when he takes the stage at The Parker on Saturday. Don’t miss the opportunity.