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Watching the World Cup? Then listen up.

U.S. singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014. (Photographer Dimitar Dikoff/Getty Images) U.S. singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014. (Photographer Dimitar Dikoff/Getty Images)

On Thursday the world raised its collective caipirinha to Sao Paulo at the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Nearly 3 billion people are expected to tune in so we asked guitarist Ken Avis, whose jazz band Veronneau recently performed the finale at the Strathmore Jazz Samba Project Festival, to provide a soundtrack for soccer’s biggest competition. And, of course, “The Girl from Ipanema” is on the list, but there’s more — from the fathers of samba to Yo-Yo Ma.

1. “Aquarela do Brasil” – Gal Costa

“This most recognizable of Brazilian songs invaded the U.S. radio waves after being included in a 1942 Walt Disney animated film ‘Saludos Amigos.'”

2. “Brasileirinho” – Yo-Yo Ma

“A choro — the 19th century musical form which developed in Rio —  originally recorded in 1949 by Waldir Azevedo, featuring the cavaquino, a 4-string instrument similar to the ukulele and common to the traditional music of Brazil.”

3. “Waters of March” –Elis Regina & Tom Jobim

“A delicious rendition of Jobim’s genius composition. One of the greatest vocal performances of one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century. The energy between Elis and Tom is  is perfection.”

4. “Linha Da Passe” – Joao Bosco

“Come on, Bosco, let’s go! Songwriter, guitarist, vocalist with a killer rhythmic sense.”

5. “Chega de Saudade” —  Joao Gilberto

“The father of Bossa Nova’s first hit, Joao Gilbert, introduced the melancholy, shifting rhythms of bossa nova to Brazil.”

6. “The Girl from Ipanema” – Rosa Passos

“The song that cemented the world’s love affair with Brazilian music. ‘Girl from Ipanema’ is the second most recorded track in history behind the Beatles ‘Yesterday.'”

7. “Piano na Mangueira” – Wanda Sá

“This song was written by Chico Buarque in honor of Tom Jobim whose fame grew from the 1960’s bossa nova movement to firmly position him as a national hero in Brasil. Jobim received a posthumous ‘Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2012 for his services to music. A swaying, swaggering rhythm for post game celebration.”

8. “Mas Que Nada” – Jorge Ben Jor

“The song keeps coming back. It was a big hit in the U.S. for Sergio Mendez in 1966 and then again in 2006 with Black Eyed Peas. It’s also featured in the FIFA World Cup 1966 video game to guarantee a new generation of listeners. It’s guaranteed to pump-up the crowd.”

9. “Brigas Nunca Mais (live)” – Roberta Sá

“So, if your team is eliminated, just relax. Listen to the beautiful voice of one of the contemporary stars of Musica Popular Brasileira. There’ll be another World Cup in 4 years.”

10. “Desafinado” – Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd

“The DC connection! Jobim composition which seduced the world on 1962’s Washington D.C. recorded Jazz Samba album.”

Read more Reliable Source: 

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Helena Andrews-Dyer is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to



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