Based in Manchester, UK, and part of the emerging new generation in Portuguese contemporary improvised music, Dias has performed and recorded with numerous artists. As composer, he has scored music for theatre, contemporary dance and animation film. His music is strongly inspired by the visual arts and literature. His projects deviate from the traditional language of jazz, and explore the dialogue between various contemporary sound universes, where experimentation is assumed as a central element. José Dias's discography as leader include “Jose Dias Quartet - 360” (Sintoma Records, 2013) “Magenta” (Sintoma Records, 2013), “What Could Have Been: The Seven Deadly Sins”(9Sintoma Records, 2016), “After Silence, Vol 1” (Clean Feed, 2019), and “Jose Dias & Awareness - Live at SMUP” (Escanifobetico Records, 2019).
José Dias is also Senior Lecturer in Music at Manchester Metropolitan University. As academic researcher he has developed research on European jazz networks, which resulted in his book “Jazz in Europe: Networking and Negotiating Identity” (Bloomsbury, 2019). In 2019, he released his documentary on Portuguese jazz, “Those Who Make It Happen”.