Chico Buarque (Rio de Janeiro, 19 giugno 1944) è un musicista, scrittore e cantante brasiliano.
Al secolo Francisco Buarque de Hollanda, è uno dei più noti autori ed interpreti della musica popolare brasiliana, insieme a Vinicius de Moraes e Tom Jobim.
Ha sposato l'attice Marieta Severo e vive in Brasile, anche se durante gli anni della dittatura militare dovette rifugiarsi in Europa.
Chico Buarque proviene da un ambiente familiare intellettuale; suo padre, Sergio Buarque de Hollanda, è stato uno storico ed un sociologo noto ed apprezzato. Bambino studioso con un precoce talento per la musica e la scrittura, Chico fu appassionato dalla bossa nova e in particolare dai lavori di João Gilberto.
Il suo debutto come cantautore è del 1964, cui seguono numerose apparizioni a festival musicali ed a programmi televisivi. Il suo album omonimo rappresenta quella che sarà la sua produzione successiva, con dei samba accattivanti caratterizzati da un originale giocare con le parole nei testi e da un fondo di nostalgia.
Il suo crescente impegno politico contro la dittatura militare lo porta all'arresto nel 1968, cui segue un esilio auto-imposto in Italia nel 1969. Chico torna in Brasile nel 1970 e sfrutta la sua fama e la sua abilità di compositore per protestare contro la dittatura. Il suo brano Apesar de Você (Nonostante tu) sfugge in qualche modo alle maglie della censura e, con la sua appena velata polemica, diventa l'inno del movimento democratico. Il singolo fu ritirato dal mercato dopo aver venduto circa centomila copie.
Appassionato alla scrittura fin da piccolo, ha composto poesie, sceneggiature cinematografiche e romanzi come Disturbo, Benjamin e Budapest.
Durante la sua permanenza in Italia, Chico Buarque De Hollanda ha inciso anche due album nella nostra lingua: uno nel 1969, intitolato semplicemente Chico Buarque De Hollanda (in Brasile fu poi ristampato con il titolo Na Italia), ed il secondo, Per un pugno di samba, nel 1970: i testi sono tradotti per lo più da Sergio Bardotti.
Il secondo è forse più interessante per gli arrangiamenti, curati da Ennio Morricone (e a questa collaborazione allude il titolo dell'album), mentre tra i coristi vi sono i "Cantori Moderni" di Alessandroni e le due giovani sorelle Mimì e Loredana Berté.
Oltre a questo album e ad alcuni 45 giri incisi da Chico, molte altre sue canzoni sono state tradotte ed interpretate da artisti italiani.
Francisco Buarque de Hollanda (born June 19, 1944 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), popularly known as Chico Buarque, is a singer, guitarist, composer, dramatist, and writer. He is best known for his music, however, which often comments on Brazil's social, economic and cultural reality.
The son of an academic, Buarque wrote and studied literature as a child and came to music through the bossa nova compositions of João Gilberto. He lived in several locations throughout his childhood, though mostly in São Paulo and Italy. He performed music throughout the 1960s as well as writing a play that was deemed dangerous by the Brazilian military dictatorship of the time. Buarque, along with several of his fellow musicians, including Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, were threatened by the government and eventually left Brazil in 1970. Buarque moved back to Italy, Veloso and Gil to London. He came back to Brazil in 1971, a year before the others, and continued to record albums, perform, and write, though much of his material was not allowed by government censors. He released several more albums in the 1980s and published three novels in the 1990s and 2000s, all of which were acclaimed critically.
Buarque came from a privileged, intellectual family background—his father Sérgio Buarque de Holanda was a well-known historian and sociologist. As a child, he was impressed by the musical style of bossa nova, specifically the work of João Gilberto. He was also interested in writing, composing his first short story at 18 years old and studying European literature, also at a young age. One of his most consuming interests, however, was playing soccer, beginning at age four, which he still does today. Though he was born in Rio de Janeiro, Buarque spent much of his childhood in São Paulo and Italy. He decided at one point to study architecture at the University of São Paulo, but this choice did not lead to a career in architecture; indeed, Buarque often skipped class during his tenure at the University.
He made his public debut as musician and composer in 1964, rapidly building his reputation at music festivals and television variety shows when bossa nova rhythm came to light and Nara Leão, recorded three of his songs. His eponymous debut album exemplified his future work, with catchy sambas characterized by inventive wordplay and an undercurrent of nostalgic tragedy. Buarque had his first hit with "A Banda" in 1966, written about a marching band, and soon released several more singles. Although playing bossa nova, during his career, samba and Música Popular Brasileira would also be widely explored. Buarque was criticized by two of the leading musicians at the time—Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil—as they believed his musical style was overly conservative. However, an existentially themed play that Buarque wrote and composed in 1968, Roda Vida ("Wheel of Life"), was frowned upon by the government and Buarque served a short prison sentence because of it. He left Brazil for Italy for 18 months in 1970, returning to write his first novel in 1972, which was not targeted by censors.
At this time his thinly-veiled protest single "Apesar de Você" (English: "Despite you") was overlooked by the military censors, becoming an important anthem in the democratic movement. After selling over 100,000 copies, the single was eventually censored and removed from the market. At one point in 1974, the censors banned any song authored by Chico Buarque. He created an pseudonym; naming himself "Julinho de Adelaide", complete with life history and interviews to newspapers. "Julinho de Adelaide" authored songs such as "Jorge Maravilha" and "Acorda amor" before he was outed in a Jornal do Brasil news story. Buarque also wrote a play named Calabar, about the Dutch invasion of Brazil in the seventeenth century, drawing parallels with the military regime. Despite the censorship, songs such as "Samba de Orly" (1970), "Acorda amor" (1974, as "Julinho da Adelaide"), and "Vai Passar" (1983) manifested Buarque's continuing opposition to the military regime. During the 1970s and 1980s, he collaborated with filmmakers, playwrights, and musicians in further protest works against the dictatorship. Buarque approached the 1983 Concert for Peace in Nicaragua as a valid forum to vocalize his strong political views. Throughout the decade, he crafted many of his songs as vehicles to describe the re-democratization of Brazil. The Concert for Peace in Nicaragua was one in concert series known as the Central American Peace Concerts. These concerts featured various Latin American artists. The political turmoil that plagued this era were expressed in many of Buarque's songs. He later wrote Budapeste, a novel that achieved critical national acclaim and won the Prêmio Jabuti, a Brazilian literary award comparable to the Man Booker Prize.
During Brazil's military coup d'état of 1964, Buarque wrote about the events which transpired and avoided censorship by using cryptic analogies and wordplay. For example, in the song "Cálice" (English: "Goblet", "Chalice", "Cup" as used by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane) he takes advantage of the homophony between the Portuguese words for "shut up" (cale-se) and "goblet" (cálice) to disguise criticism of censorship and oppression as a Bible story.