João Gilberto (born João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931 in Juazeiro, Bahia) is a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian singer and guitarist. He is credited with having created the bossa nova beat and is known as the “Father of Bossa Nova.” His seminal recordings, including many songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, established the new musical genre in the late 1950s.
Bossa nova is a refined version of samba, de-emphasizing the percussive aspect of its rhythm and enriching the melodic and harmonic content. Rather than relying on the traditional Afro-Brazilian percussive instruments, João Gilberto often eschews all accompaniment except his guitar, which he uses as a percussive as well as a harmonic instrument, incorporating what would be the role of the Tamborim in a full Batucada band. The singing style he developed is almost whispering, economical, and without vibrato. He creates his tempo tensions by singing ahead or behind the beat.