Gal Costa, one of Brazil’s greatest singers and a model for generations of Brazilian performers, died at 77 on Nov 9, at her home in São Paulo.  Pablo Milanés, legendary Cuban singer-songwriter, died aged 79 on Nov 22. The same day Erasmo Carlos, a popular Brazilian singer-songwriter, died  in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 81. Three in a row. Black November. What a pity! Such awesome artists, so creative, so generous, so universal. Fortunately, they leave behind so much poetry, so much beauty, lyrics we all know by heart.  

Contrasting with all those pitiful losses, many of us have been lucky enough this month to enjoy  Juan Manuel Serrat’s “farewell” concert at Movistar Arena, Buenos Aires.  For two hours and a half, he literally mesmerized thousands of fans. At 78 he hasn’t aged at all as an artist, nor has his voice or his songs. “El Nano” has kept a love affair with his Argentine audience since the late sixties, and has never disappointed it. I guess we all have mixed feelings: sorrow and joy at the same time. Is this really his last tour? I don’t think so. Nor does he, I suppose. Anyway, we are all so thankful! He’s made our lives happier and richer. 

 As German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” 

Buenos Aires Times, Nov 26, 2022