The singer, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and social activist Carlinhos Brown is the new Brazilian Tourism Ambassador. Brown, 60, accepted Embratur’s invitation and will represent the country in the efforts to publicize Brazil abroad. The announcement happened earlier this week to mark Black Awareness Day, celebrated on November 20th, and Brown will officially receive his title as Brazilian Tourism Ambassador during a ceremony to be held at Expo Carnaval this Friday (24), in Salvador (BA).
“For over decades, Brown has been consciously and voluntarily projecting to the world the best Brazil has to offer, a Brazil that works. His art gives protagonism and centrality to Afro-Brazilian culture, while praising our diversity: Brown is a mixture, he is also indigenous and Latin American, a country man and experimental. We are going to work together to project this Brazil abroad even more and this way help to build it, inviting the world to come and discover how fascinating our culture and people are, and how we are more beautiful and happy when we respect and value our differences”, said Marcelo Freixo, president of Embratur.
Being the first Brazilian musician to be part of the Oscar Academy and also the first to receive the title of Ibero-American Ambassador for Culture, Brown and his art have promoted Brazil around the world for almost four decades, especially in countries such as Spain, France, England, Italy and Germany. Last September, Brown entertained more than 60 thousand people through the streets of Paris, in France, during the Lavagem da Madaleine. In 2022, he took to the streets of London during the Notting Hill Carnival, throwing a party like no other using sustainable technologies never applied before to a “Trio Elétrico”.
Brazilian Tourism Ambassadors
The Brazilian Tourism Ambassadors programme was created in 1987 and had King Pelé as its first ambassador. It establishes that the personalities chosen to represent Brazil must highlight “the country’s cultural and natural diversity, environmental sustainability, respect for the fauna, flora, forests, life and democracy, tackling discrimination”, and also “collaborate in the construction of Brazil’s positive image”.
Carlinhos Brown’s presence abroad began when he was part of the group Timbalada, with several shows and tours across Europe. In 1992, for example, he recorded the album “Bahia Black” with jazz musicians Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bernie Worrell and Henry Threadgill, which also featured Olodum. Brown also composed songs for renowned international artists, with emphasis on singers Omara Portuondo, from Cuba, Angélique Kidjo, from Benin, and Vanessa Paradis, from France, plus collaborations with other foreign musicians, always taking Brazil’s sound to the world.
In 2011, he co-signed the soundtrack for the animation “Rio”, by Fox Filmes, in partnership with Sérgio Mendes, Mikael Mutti, John Powell and Siedah Garrett, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song with the “Real in Rio”. Helmed by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha, the second installment of the film, “Rio 2”,(2014), featured six more compositions by Carlinhos Brown.
Carlinhos Brown’s social activism also has international repercussions. In 1994, he founded the Associação Pracatum Ação Social, which helps thousands of needy children in Salvador through music, also offering language, fashion and recycling courses, plus workshops and schools. The projects have important partners, such as UNESCO. Still in his local neighbourhood of Candeal, Brown initially implemented the “Tá Rebocado” project, for the urbanization and sanitation of the community, which received, in 2002, the Certificate of Best Practices from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme/UN-Habitat.
Brown has also two Latin Grammy Awards to his name, winning in the Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album category both in 2003 for Tribalistas and again in 2004 for Carlinhos Brown Es Carlito Marró