Brazilian music has been well known internationally since João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others first exported samba to the USA in the late 1950s.
More recently Brazil has proved it is serious about building on this cultural heritage by appointing another successful musician as Minister of Culture.
As well as being an internationally famous musician in his own right, Gilberto Gil has also spent the last 5 years championing Brazilian music, film, painting, sculpture and literature at home. He resigned from government in July to be able to focus on making music once again.
Combining a musical career with a political role has included contentious issues such as digital copyrights and Gil has been in a unique position to understand both sides of the argument.
He has pioneered innovative approaches to copyright issues, for example forming a collaboration between Brazil and the Creative Commons movement.
Other initiatives included schemes which have encouraged video and music creation in some of the poorest parts of Brazil.
Read more in this article from the International Herald Tribune.
About the authorLucy