A – Z Guide: N

NovO Bossa Nova

This year marks the 50th anniversary of bossa nova, the seductive samba-influenced Brazilian jazz “new beat” born with João Gilberto’s 1958 song “Chega de Saudade.”

“The first time I heard João’s guitar, it was like a window opening,” says guitarist and composer Oscar Castro-Neves, a key member of Rio’s sixties bossa scene before he moved to Los Angeles in 1971 to play with Sergio Mendes. “What João did was to decant the rhythms of the samba to their most minimal.”

In September Castro-Neves will participate in an all-star celebration of bossa nova’s birthday at the Hollywood Bowl. He offers a short list of classic bossa nova and albums by artists who are giving the music a 21st-century twist.

  1. Antônio Carlos Jobim, The Composer of Desafinado, Plays “This 1963 album opens with an instrumental version of Jobim’s ‘Girl from Ipanema.’ That same year Getz, Gilberto, and his wife, Astrud, recorded the song, and the rest is history.”
  2. Antônio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina, Elis & Tom “This album featuring Jobim and the Sarah Vaughan of Brazil, Elis Regina, is a favorite of musicians. I was lucky enough to play on the album when it was recorded in L.A.”
  3. BossaCucaNova, Revisited Classics “Mixing the melodies of bossa nova with electronic music and hip-hop, the young musicians in BossaCucaNova are adding what’s current to the bossa nova style.”
  4. Maria Rita, Samba Meu “The daughter of Elis Regina, Maria Rita has a fantastic voice and is one of the biggest stars in Brazil right now. She’s magical.”

The Next Generation Of Supertowers

Tall, taller, tallest. Meet the skyscrapers of the future, all designed by blue-chip architects, all with Babelesque ambitions. There are curvier, twistier, more fantastical structures proposed or under way, but these buildings capture the imagination by melding a design vision (yes, even the much-maligned Freedom Tower) with the irrepressible urge to go high—really high.

Burj Dubai

Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Height min. 2,500 feet
Completion 2009
Budget $4.1 billion

Chicago Spire

Architect Santiago Calatrava
Height 2,000 feet Completion 2012 Budget $1.5 billion

Russia Tower


Architect Foster + Partners
Height 2,008 feet
Completion 2012
Budget $2.2 billion

Freedom Tower

new york

Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Height 1,776 feet
Completion 2012
Budget $3 billion

Shanghai World Financial Center

Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox
Height 1,614 feet
Completion 2008
Budget $1.2 billion

Guangzhou International Financial Center

Architect Wilkinson Eyre
Height 1,435 feet
Completion 2010
Budget $1.4 billion

53 W. 53rd St.

new york

Architect Jean Nouvel
Height min. 1,050 feet
Completion est. 2012
Budget unknown