In Brazil, singers are ministers

For those of you who aren't familiar with either Brazilian music or Brazilian politics, imagine a world where the Minister of Culture is a practising musician, and a world-famous one at that.This story tells the tale.For those who can't read it, here's how it begins:

ON Wednesday the Brazilian minister of culture, Gilberto Gil, is scheduled to speak about intellectual property rights, digital media and related topics at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin, Tex. Two nights later the singer, songwriter and pop star Gilberto Gil begins a three-week North American concert tour.Rarely do the worlds of politics and the arts converge as unconventionally as in the person of Mr. Gil, whose itinerary includes a solo performance at Carnegie Hall on March 20. More than 40 years after he first picked up a guitar and sang in public, Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira is an anomaly: He doesn’t just make music, he also makes policy.