Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil to return to Israel

The singer, who defied 2015 BDS calls, will be stopping in Ra'anana in July.

March 26, 2018 07:54
1 minute read.
Gilberto Gil and his band

Gilberto Gil and his band. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Brazilian musical powerhouse Gilberto Gil will be returning to Israel this summer for one memorable show.

Gil, the 75-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist, will be performing on July 4 at the Ra'anana Ampitheatre as part of his Refavela 40 anniversary tour.

The musician, who formerly served as Brazil's culture minister, was last in Israel in 2015. Before that concert, he and his friend and fellow musician Caetano Veloso faced strong calls from the BDS movement to cancel. Brazilian boycott activists, musician Roger Waters and Desmond Tutu all urged the duo to cancel, but they held firm. At a press conference in Tel Aviv ahead of their show, they said they came to perform and also to learn.

“We’ve been saying since we got here, we are here to sing, we came here to sing and also share our views and thoughts,” Gil said at the time. Ahead of their concert, according to The New York Times, the duo toured the Sussiya village in the West Bank with Breaking the Silence, a controversial NGO made up of former IDF soldiers who are critical of Israeli military actions.

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But Gil and Veloso's impressions took different paths. Months after his visit, Veloso penned an op-ed in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo saying that, after seeing what he saw, he could never visit Israel again.

"Getting to know Tel Aviv, which is located on the Mediterranean, as well as the modern architecture and the sensual style of the people living in it, raises the question of whether the alleged peace that exists in this city is one that is not really interested in peace," Veloso wrote.

But Gil, meanwhile, was much quieter about his experiences - and on Monday he announced that he'll be returning to Israel this summer. The Grammy-winning musician has released dozens of albums and toured around the world in a career spanning decades. He will be joined in Ra'anana by guests Marya Andrade, Mestrinho and Chiara Civello - but not Veloso.

Tickets for the show range from NIS 199-400 are can be bought via

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