João Gil, composer and guitarist, is one of the best known names in Portuguese music. Born in Covilhã in December 1965, he came to Lisbon as a teenager. A music lover since childhood, his first professional incursions took place in 1975 in a music group called Soviete do Areeiro. It will be in the following year when, in partnership with João Nuno Represas, Luís Represas, Artur Rocha and Manuel Faria, he forms Trovante, that his career as a professional musician gains real importance.
TROVANTE's debut album dates back to 1977, “Chão Nosso”, and in it traditional Portuguese music is combined with messages with some political and social content. A year later, “Em Nome da Vida” confirms this somewhat interventionist aspect of the band. It will be from the group's second album that João Gil begins to concentrate on composition, seeking to develop, in partnership with the other musicians, a repertoire with a more traditional component. They release “Baile do Bosque”, which becomes a huge success, followed by the album “Cais das Colinas” (1983) which includes one of TROVANTE's most successful songs, lyrics and music by João Gil himself: “Saudade”. Hits such as “Esplanada”, co-authored with João Monge, “Xácara das Witches Dancing”, “Memories of a kiss” and “125 Azul”, with Luís Represas, or “Perdidamente”, are influenced by João Gil and give a more pop sound to the band.
TROVANTE is one of the first bands in the history of Portuguese music and sold out three dates in a row at Coliseu dos Recreios, still in the 80s. In 1986, after the edition of the album “Sepes”, they were invited to close the Festa do Avante and perform for over 100,000 people in a historic concert. In 1988, the band ventured into a major production in Campo Pequeno that gave rise to one of the most successful live albums. “Um Deste Dias” is TROVANTE's last album of originals and it includes another great hit composed by João Gil, with lyrics by João Monge: “Timor”, which, more than a great song, becomes the anthem for mobilization of the Portuguese people on the cause of the Maubere people.
At that time, the partnership of João Gil and João Monge was increasingly present and it is in this context that they invite Manuel Paulo to create a new musical project. Thus, the ALA DOS NAMORADOS is born.
The group's first performance takes place, even before their debut album, at the Bruges Festival, in Belgium, in 1994. It is the beginning of the career of ALA DOS NAMORADOS, which, from that year on, started to perform regular tours in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and Brazil taking Portuguese music to the main international stages.
“Loucos de Lisboa”, the ALA's presentation single by João Gil and João Monge, which became a resounding success. In 1995, the band performed at the Mercat de Música Viva de Vic (Barcelona), where it was awarded the prize for Best Foreign Band.
Shortly after, João Gil joins Rui Veloso, Tim, Jorge Palma, Vitorino and João Monge and form RIO GRANDE - one of the most prestigious and successful multi-artist groups in Portugal. They publish two albums and themes such as “Postal dos Correios” or “Fisga”, conquering audiences of all ages, making each RIO GRANDE concert a true event.
Meanwhile, the national and international activity of Ala dos Namorados continues and, in 1998, the theme that gives its name to the new album becomes a transversal success: “Solta-se o kiss”, a duet sung with Sara Tavares with music by João Gil.
After a tour with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Ala dos Namorados presents itself in Macau (2006), with the Chinese Orchestra, in a memorable concert. It is in this same year that João Gil announces his departure from the group to dedicate himself to new artistic projects.
Celebrating 30 years of activity, João Gil edits his first album in his own name where, solo and in partnership with some guest artists, he interprets themes of his own authorship.
Throughout his career, João Gil never hid his countless musical influences, which he explored in the different musical groups in which he participated. Fado has always been one of her references and, with the voice of Ana Sofia Varela and lyrics by João Monge, she records “Fados de Amor e Pecado” in 2009, gathering excellent critics.
From Trovante to Filarmónica Gil, passing through the Ala dos Namorados, Rio Grande, Cabeças no Ar, Baile Popular or, more recently, Tais Qual or the Quinteto Lisboa, João Gil's life is marked by great successes that surpass the notoriety of the groups where he went and in which he left his strong contribution.
Theater is also part of his professional career, having composed for the plays “O Ano do Pensamento Mágico”, “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” and, more recently, for the recital of “Ode Marítima” - a music project and poetry of enormous national and international success.
Over these 40 years of Portuguese music, João Gil has distinguished himself as the composer of some of the songs that will forever be part of the national collective memory: “Saudade”, “125 Azul”, “Loucos de Lisboa”, “Postal dos Correios”, among many others, are examples of songs signed by João Gil that have become true phenomena of popularity.