Storm wrecks Ipanema composer’s ‘refuge in paradise’

Friday, January 14, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO - A legendary source of inspiration for the trademark Brazilian music style bossa nova was ravaged by torrential rain that has left more than 500 dead in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The estate named Poo Fundo (Deep Well) in the 1970s inspired the composer of The Girl From Ipanema, Tom Jobim, to write one of his most famous songs, Aguas de Maro (Waters of March). The song has been recorded by Georges Moustaki and Art Garfunkel, among others.

Antonio Carlos Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim, called the estate his “refuge in paradise” from the 1950s on. One day, he reportedly found paths blocked by fallen trees, with mud, rocks and pieces of wood everywhere, and he turned the scene into one of his most famous songs.

This week’s storm, however, proved a lot worse for the estate, the Brazilian daily O Globo reported Friday. Jobim’s grandson Daniel Jobim told the family that most of the property, located in Sao Jose do Vale do Rio Preto, a 40-minute drive away from the historic city of Petropolis in the state of Rio, was destroyed.

Of three buildings at the site, only the main house survived. Like most locals, Daniel Jobim is isolated in his home, with no electricity and only difficult communications. But he was able to get through with the news of the fate of his grandfather’s refuge.

At least two people died in Sao Jose.

Jobim died in 1994 in New York, aged 67.

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