Premio UBC 2017 Honors Brazilian Musician & Activist Gilberto Gil

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Daniel Ferro

Casa UBC opened on Tuesday night (Nov. 28) in commemoration of Premio UBC 2017. The freshly-minted space (which takes up residency at the Brazilian Union of Composers in the heart of Rio de Janeiro) opened its doors to an emotional tribute to Brazilian musician and activist Gilberto Gil, winner of the UBC Award for his many achievements in throughout a lifetime dedicated to the arts. 

Gil was among legendary producers (such as André Midani), as well as various publishers and execs from record labels and streaming platforms. The fete marked the return of the awards celebration (à la the ASCAPs), extant since the 1980s, but with new categories beginning in 2018. 

"Our intention is to reflect a new market, more collective and less centralized than in the last century," said Marcelo Castello Branco, the company's executive director. "The next editions will teach that. The UBC Award aims to give a well-deserved light on those who make incredible music, whatever their functions... This year we will exceed our historical record of distribution of royalties, [which] will be more than 500 million reais [or about 130 million euros]."

Brazilian former fútbol star Paulo Sérgio took the stage to commemorate Fernando Brant, former president of the UBC who died at the age of 68 in 2015. Sérgio personally delivered the award of the night to Gil, closing the evening on the highest of notes with a number of live performances.  

"Beautiful party, UBC! Thank you very much to all of you," Gil said, surrounded by the likes of Erasmo Carlos, João Bosco, Geraldo Azevedo, Ronaldo Bastos, Elias Muniz, Manno Góes, Luis Carlinhos and George Israel.