Tom Zé

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Tom Zé: Explaining Things So I Can Confuse You

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Tom Zé

Tuesday, July 19 at 8:00

Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater

“Tom Zé has taken brilliantly bizarre, creative, and intellectual routes to making music that is utterly joyous, listenable, and often danceable.”
—The Fader

Tom Zé is a bossa-nova iconoclast, an avant-garde troubadour. He first made a name for himself in the 1960s as a leading voice of the Tropicália movement that swept Brazilian music, art, and literature. In the decades since then, this songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been absorbing and reimagining genres like samba, Brazilian folk music, forró, rock, and pop, resulting in a musician who is distinctly at home in the great tradition of Brazilian music and yet also in a world unto himself.

Ze’s unorthodox approach to melody and instrumentation (he's been known to perform with a typewriter) make for unconventional, eccentric performances. Tom Zé himself calls his art imprensa cantada, or “sung journalism”; a typical Zé show is part music, part comedy, and part lecture on anything from the history of counterpoint to the pitfalls of globalization.

This performance marks the 74-year-old Zé's first New York appearance in more than a decade. Zé was brought into the American musical consciousness in the 1990s by the Talking Heads’ David Byrne, and this new wave of his career has brought him broader international renown than ever.