In 1966, a group of teenagers, brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Baptista, joined by singer Rita Lee, formed Os Mutantes and along with other Brazilian musicians, helped launch Brazil’s vanguard Tropicália cultural and political movement in opposition to the military dictatorship that had taken over their country. Last year, the Baptista brothers and their longtime drummer Ronaldo Leme reunited for a series of concerts after three decades apart. These musicians, whose music inspired such artists as David Byrne, Beck, and Kurt Cobain, are joined by vocalist Zèlia Duncan and a new generation of backup musicians and singers. At their first show on this summer's tour is at Chicago's Metro on July 11th, along with 3 other U.S. dates, Os Mutantes (“The Mutants”) will re-create the elaborate vocal, rock, and chamber-pop arrangements of their albums. In the fall, Luaka Bop will present an expanded version of Everything is Possible: The Best of Os Mutantes, as well as a Live CD/DVD of their first reunion show in London.
When Os Mutantes performed at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival in July 2006, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The reunion of these Brazilian psychedelic-rock subversives capped the two-day, 41-band festival. This was not ‘Girl from Ipanema’ bossa nova, but the soundtrack for a UFO sighting, drenched in sarcasm, eccentricity, and multi-part suites that owe as much to Zappa and the Beatles as they do to Jobim.” The newspaper dubbed the group’s appearance one of the top ten live music moments of the year.