In Brazil, to do something with "Bossa" is to do it with particular charm and natural flair, as in an innate ability. The term "Bossa" was used to refer to any new "trend" or "fashionable wave" within the artistic beach-culture of late 1950's Rio de Janeiro. The term finally became known and widely used to refer to a new music style, a fusion of Samba and jazz, when the now famous creators of "Bossa Nova" referred to their new style of work as "a Bossa Nova", as in "the new thing".



It's a rhythmic, sensuous, captivating style of Brazilian music, created in 1958 and made popular at the end of the decade. Its popularity quickly spread from its roots in Rio's Southside, throughout South and North America and across into Europe. Young musicians and college students embraced its unique avant-garde style, which was adopted by many jazz artists worldwide. Recently, contemporary European artists have reached out to Bossa Nova, giving it a new edge, often called Techno Bossa or Bossa Electrica its enduring rhythms have permeated lounge bars right across the world.

Bossa Nova is most commonly performed on the nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick. Its purest form could be considered unaccompanied guitar with vocals, as exemplified by many of the famous Bossa Nova Artists. Even in larger jazz-like arrangements for groups, there is almost always a guitar that plays the underlying rhythm.

The piano is another important instrument of Bossa Nova, often seen as a bridge between Bossa Nova and Jazz, forming a contemporary merging of the two.

Britain is fast discovering the exciting and rich sounds of world music with Brazilian artists and sounds at the forefront of this wave. Bossa Nova has always had the exciting air of the avant-garde, championed by the innovators and mould breakers. Now this captivating sound has been embraced by a new wave of artists. They are now introducing to a new generation of enthusiastic mainstream audiences who are finding out for themselves this exciting and passionate genre, joining the millions who have always had a love for Bossa Nova.

The British have always been famously resistant to music not sung in English but now Britain is rapidly becoming one of the launch pads for this new wave of music, bringing together the undulating, summery sounds of Brazil's rhythm with the contemporary feel of drum loops and electronics.

Brazil remains a rich breeding ground and inspiration for new musical styles but it is in Europe that some of the classic music of the past is being rejuvenated by contemporary sounds and production.