Bossa Nova By Deane Barker • December 16, 2022 • This is a style of music that originated in Brazil in the 1950s. The phrase literally means “new talent” or “new way” in Brazilian Portuguese. It’s a variation of samba, which is a musical style which originated in Brazil. Musical styles are hard to explain, but – to me – this feels like a laid back style of jazz, like something that comes from the tropics. It feels like something you’d hear in the background of a hotel lobby or restaurant in the Caribbean. There’s less brass than typical jazz, and more guitars. The tempo is slower. It’s relaxing – great background music. Why I Looked It Up On an episode of Abbot Elementary, one of the characters expresses a love for “bossa nova jazz.” I did some looking specifically for the jazz connection, but it appears to be informal – I don’t know that “bossa nova jazz” is an actual style. It might have been termed that way because a lot of bossa nova is instrumental and improvisational with the same instruments, so it feels like jazz. In fact, most people, when hearing bossa nova would automatically think, “That’s soft jazz.” Postscript Added on June 6, 2023 An obituary: Astrud Gilberto, bossa nova singer of The Girl from Ipanema, dies aged 83, […] whose dreamy interpretation of The Girl from Ipanema became the most popular version of the song, has died aged 83. See Passion Fruit for the Ipanema connection.