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The Girl from Ipanema: Brazil, Bossa Nova and the Beach

Katie Derham travels to Rio de Janeiro to explore the story behind Brazil's most famous and enduring song, which defines the moment Brazil charmed the world in the 1960s.

Documentary in which Katie Derham travels to Rio de Janeiro (where her father was born) to explore the story behind Brazil's most famous and enduring song. Written in 1962 by Antonio Carlos Jobim with lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, and a later English translation by Norman Gimbel, The Girl from Ipanema defines the moment Brazil charmed the world with a laid-back song about a haunting woman.

It's a vibrant musical journey to the stunning beaches, majestic mountains and buzzy clubs of Rio, where Katie meets key musicians and architects of bossa nova, including Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menescal, Joyce, Daniel Jobim and Marcos Valle, witnesses intimate musical performances, and uncovers the genesis and story behind Brazil's most successful musical export.

The Girl from Ipanema is quintessential bossa nova and tracing its roots reveals the fascinating story of this unique musical style. Invented by a gang of young bohemians in Rio in the late 50s, bossa grew into a 60s phenomenon, especially in the US where it became a youth craze and later a significant part of the modern jazz repertoire. The Girl from Ipanema, as sung by Astrud Gilberto with sax from Stan Getz, went top five in the US and became a major international hit in 1964.

Nothing sums up Rio as well as the simple and seductive lyrics to The Girl from Ipanema. What better way to get to understand the city, its people and its mid-60s zeitgeist than through its most famous song?

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 14 Sep 2019 00:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • João Gilberto, Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Frank Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Johnny Patrick

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Grupo Batuque

    Ole Ola

  • Grupo Batuque

    Isto e Samba

  • João Gilberto

    Bim Bom

  • Maysa


  • Barney Kessel

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • Nara Leão

    Diz Que Fui Por Ai

  • João Gilberto

    Chega de Saudade

  • João Gilberto


  • Mônica Vasconcelos

    So Tinha de Ser Com Voce

  • Maria João Pires

    Nocturnes Op 9

  • A Nova Banda


  • The Ipanemas


  • Tamba Trio

    Batida Diferente

  • Roberto Menescal


  • Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd


  • Miles Davis

    So What

  • Oscar Castro Neves Quartet

    Influencia do Jazz

  • Eydie Gormé

    Blame it on the Bossa Nova

  • Oscar Castro Neves Quartet

    Nao Faz Assim

  • Vinicius de Moraes

    Canto de Ossanha

  • Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Astrud Gilberto

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Nat King Cole

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Cher

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Ella Fitzgerald

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Amy Winehouse

    The Girl From Ipanema

  • Billie Jo Spears


  • Joyce


  • Nara Leão


  • Gilberto Gil & Jorge Ben Jor

    Filhos de Gandhi

  • Paula Morelenbaum & Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum

    Agua de Beber

  • Toquinho & Vinicius de Moraes

    Carta Ao Tom 74

  • 00:32

    Miles Davis Sextet

    So What - Original

  • 00:32

    Miles Davis

    So What - Original


Role Contributor
Presenter Katie Derham
Producer Andy Dunn
Director Andy Dunn
Executive Producer Mark Cooper


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