The arrival of Bossa Nova on the Brazilian music scene comes from the rejection of traditional Brazilian popular music by musicians from Rio de Janeiro.
Until the 1950s, the musical culture within the Brazilian working class was mainly composed of sambas of the carnival type with an obligatory use of percussion as accompaniment.
Hispanic-American pleros, offering simple compositions, standard harmony, soft voices and sentimental texts, more frequently melodramatic.
The Bossa Nova style was invented by a group composed of the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, the singer João Gilberto, of Normando Santos [ref. necessary], by the poet Vinícius de Moraes and others who inspired at the end of the 1950s part of the youth of the Ipanema and Copacabana neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro.
From 1958, it was popularized in Brazil by the disc Chega de Saudade, recorded in Rio in 1958, but sold from São Paulo in 1959. In this disc, João Gilberto interpreted three songs by Antônio Carlos Jobim (on lyrics by Vinícius de Moraes (Chega de Saudade ...) and Newton Mendonça), three others by Carlos Lyra, two personal compositions, and in his own way used old sambas as well as a song by Dorival Caymmi (Rosa Morena).
In 1963, thanks to the collaboration of João Gilberto and saxophonist Stan Getz in the album Getz / Gilberto, the Bossa Nova achieved worldwide success with A Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema, in English), performed by Astrud Gilberto.
Among Stan Getz's musicians was the Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida who preceded Getz by ten years, being the real bridge between Brazilian music and Jazz.
The greatest bossa nova classics are gathered there: A Garota de Ipanema, Corcovado, Desafinado, Só danço samba, O grande amor and Vivo sonhando.
In 1974, the album Elis & Tom by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina caused a sensation, considered to be the last great masterpiece of the golden age of the bossa nova style.
During a tour in Italy in 1961 João Gilberto discovered Bruno Martino's song, Estate. He adapted it in his own way in 1977 and it became an international standard interpreted by the greatest jazz musicians, from Chet Baker to Michel Petrucciani via Toots Thielemans.
The Bossa Nova stricto sensu is considered to end in 1964 with the military coup in Brazil.
The importance of bossa nova in the history of Brazilian and world music is indisputable. It introduces complex harmonies, a close relationship between lyrics and music as well as a general concern for arrangement and musical form.