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European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases

European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases
Henning Bolte By

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Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB); Livraria Ler Devagar
European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018
Lisbon, Portugal
September 13-15, 2018

European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases

This year's annual European Jazz Conference, a convention organized by the European Jazz Network, took place at Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. CCB, a huge multifunctional cultural site in the Lisbon neighborhood of Santa Maria de Bélem, is situated at the banks of the Tagus river estuary that empties into the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The building of Centro Cultural Belém was designed by the architects Vittorio Gregotti from Novara, Italy, and Manuel Salgado from Lisbon and completed in 1992. The event comprises the EJN general assembly, a conference part with keynote speeches, discussion groups, workshops and network sessions, and a live music part with showcases and concerts. This article covers the live music part of the event. A report on the other part you can find here.

Choices from a spectrum

The annual European Jazz Conference is an opportunity for the hosting country to present its own jazz-scene in a showcase program. The official core program of showcases comprised six showcases of each 35 minutes spread over two conference days in between other activities. This core program was augmented by 11 concerts in a nightly Fringe program.

When you have to make a selection of musicians and groups for these kinds of occasions well-balanced compromises with regard to age, gender, style directions etc. are needed. It is in principle a snapshot hopefully giving some indication of the state of affairs and direction(s) of the country's scene(s).

The opening gala concert showcased the country's most advanced jazz orchestra, The Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, combined with four outstanding musicians: renowned vocalist Maria Joao and pianist João Paulo Esteves da Silva from the older generation, and accordionist João Barradas and reedist João Mortágua from the younger generation.

Six showcases then presented some relevant, indicative facets of the scene(s) in the North (Porto, Coimbra) and the center (Lisbon) of the country: Impermanence, a group of well-known young Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, Omniae, a group of young Portuguese drummer Pedro Melo Alves, the Bode Wilson Trio, the sextet Axes of the previously mentioned João Mortagua, the trio longstanding tuba-guitar-drums trio TGB and a vocalist of the youngest generation, Beatriz Nunes, with her brilliant quartet. Besides these there was a Fringe Program with musical aces such as the new trio of renowned Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, the amazing eleven-pieces LUME ensemble led by Marco Barroso, the floating trio of vibraphonist Eduardo Cardinho, the heavy Centauri group of guitarist André Fernandez, and, as prelude to the conference, a concert of drumming ace Mário Costa with his new Oxy Patina unit with two first class French musicians, pianist Benoit Delbecq and bassist BrunoChevillon.

There was also a concert at Lisbon's legendary Hot Club, founded in 1948, located at Praça Alegria in the heart of the city and run by Luis Hilário. These concerts ran every night during the conference, each with two sets. The first night presented vocalist Joana Machado "Life Stories," the second night the Portuguese-British duo of drummer Pedro Segundo and keyboardist Ross Stanley, and, in the third night, finally the André Carvalho Group.

The showcases together with the Fringe performances gave a hint to a rich scene of unique musical personalities and highly developed creative diversity. There also were some notable absentees to be mentioned. First of all, the great pianist Bernardo Sassetti (1970-2012) who died much too young and is maybe—mostly involuntary -Portugal's best kept secret. He collaborated with, amongst others, bassist Carlos Barretto, drummer Alexandre Frazão and the other keystone of Portuguese jazz, pianist Mário Laginha. Both, Sassetti and Laginha, were repeatedly mentioned by Carlos Martin and Maria João. There is an in memoriam radio program I made: you can listen to it ON DEMAND here.


Live Reviews Henning Bolte Portugal Lisbon Maria Joao João Paulo Esteves João Barradas João Mortágua Susana Santos Silva Pedro Melo Alves Beatriz Nunes Marco Barroso Eduardo Cardinho André Fernandez Mario Costa Benoit Delbecq Bruno Chevillon Joana Machado Pedro Segundo Ross Stanley Andre Carvalho Bernardo Sassetti Carlos Barretto Alexandre Frazão Mário Laginha Carlos 'Zingaro' Bugge Wesseltoft Espen Eriksen andy sheppard Carlos Martins Paal Nilssen-Love Emile Parisien Hugo Carvalhais Joachim Kühn Michel Portal Manu Codja} -{{Vincent Peirani Simon Tailleu Michael Mantler Pedro Guedes Carlos Azevedo Maria Schneider carla bley Lee Konitz John Hollenbeck Mark Turner Carlos Bica Steve Swallow Gary Valente Dieter Glawischnig Chris Cheek Ohad Talmor Joshua Redman Cristina Branco Ricardo Ribeiro Greg Osby Gil Goldstein Sergio Carolino Aki Takase Egberto Gismonti Rabih Abou-Khalil Luís Barrigas Mário Franco Jorge Moniz Torbjörn Zetterberg João Pedro Brandão Hugo Raro Marcos Cavaleiro Demian Cabaud José Soares Hugo Ciríaco Rui Teixeira Alex Rodriguez-Lázaro Pedro Vasconcelos Julius Hemphill Oliver Lake Hamiet Bluiett David Murray Steven Bernstein Ray Draper Howard Johnson Michel Massot Berlinde Demen Michel Godard Oren Marshall Martin Taxt Heida Mobeck Daysuke Takaoka Sara Tavares Francisco Brito João Pereira Diogo Alexandre Miguel Mira Gabriel Ferrandini Peter Evans Joe McPhee Jeb Bishop Kent Kessler John Hebert Chris Corsano Gerald Cleaver Gard Nilssen Thomas Johansson Jon Rune Strøm Hernani Faustino Joao Lencastre Thomas Morgan Jacob Sacks David Binney

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