Porta Jazz, Exchange and Diversity

From February 1st with a ‘warm-up’ at the hotel until February 5th in the evening for a final jam session with the students of the conservatory at Café Rivoli, the Porta-Jazz Festival presents 21 concerts, mainly at the Teatro Rivoli barn, the city’s great municipal theatre.

If the recipe for the festival is the same (see the previous edition report), then there are some novelties. First of all, the opening of the festival took place in the new building of A group of porta-jazz musiciansWhich works all year round for jazz music locally and internationally and organizes this festival once a year. Their former location was – as is so often the case in Portugal – the subject of real estate speculation and for a while, the collective thought they were on the Street. But thanks to their mobilization and a very positive assessment of their actions, they manage to find a place (ironically, they are stuck in the old plot where their historical room was). The opening night of the festival also coincided with a kind of opening of the building.

At the entrance, three artists made really interesting small acoustic installations, including fantastic ones Susana Santos Silva who offered a film with a soundtrack to listen to through headphones, which is an extension of his work in sound processing, sound recording and dance of all kinds.

In the basement, a portion is reserved for the natural Port wine producer, Alvaro Rosera (area Quinta do infantado) which made great port and dao cuvées. It was enough for the first concert to start in the small equipped room of Porta Jazz in a relaxed atmosphere.

Duarte Ventura © Simon Trel / Minima

It is the Porta-Jazz / Robalo, a Hispano-Lusitano orchestra made up of young musicians which, from the very beginning, demonstrates the policy of openness and international exchanges led by the Portuguese group.

The room is full of blast, the audience is very mixed and young and the music is full of rich and earnest writing. on the vibraphone, Duarte Ventura Stand out, as well as two saxophonists Jill Silva And Bernardo Tinoco. This appetizer bodes well for the future and the festival partners share this opinion. Here we find the programmers of the Tampere (Finland), Katowice (Poland), Besau (Austria), Münster (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) festivals. The festivals have been cooperating remotely for several years, supporting joint projects.

Like every year, the festival runs in blocks of two parties each, two or three blocks a day.

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Block 1 was marked by trichomes Barriers pianist Pedro Neves Who provided the new directory for his last disk. Fairly classic piano, bass, and treble drums, with music written with a romantic atmosphere, and a good level also highlights the drummer. Jose Marucho. Then we continue with the Swiss trio – thanks to the exchange between Porta-Jazz and AMR of Geneva – and obji (Voice, piano, drums and lots of electronics). It’s a little floaty, fuzzy folk, a little crazy and very tidy.

Block 2 takes place on the main stage and introduces a quintet led by an Italian bassist Gianni Nardiozi and Portuguese musicians. the address ” Dharma Booms directly refers to the Jack Kerouac novel (Heavenly tramps) and the music is automatic. Saxophonist Afonso Silva He makes good tackles.

Carlos Azevedo Quartet © Simon Trel / Minima

The evening ends (before a jam session at Café Rivoli, upstairs from the theater) with a concert by a quartet Carlos Azevedo. The latter, a well-known award-winning composer and also a leader, has ditched his usual band, Matosinos Jazz Orchestra ; He arranged and composed a small body of work which he usually devoted to large groups. Project Music zigzags It is also recorded on disk. To play it, he surrounded himself with it Miguel Moreira (guitar), Miguel Angelo (double bass) f Mario Costa (battery). Extremely lively, full of rich and luminous harmonies, the music makes use of harmonies full of interactions. The narration is done and allows a lot of freedom that the musicians take advantage of.

The following day, Blocks 3, 4 and 5 will present a series of European musicians mixed with national bands.

First of all, a meeting between the two groups Oso and Porta Jazz for a multidisciplinary project, black and electronic, in which trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and singer Joanna Castro. The theater reception team intransigence did not allow the group of European guests to return due to our being late. It is unfortunate that this concert was one of the few to have female musicians perform on stage. The Portuguese festival and scene remains very masculine (8 singers and 3 instrumentalists for over 65 musicians).

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We find ourselves in the lower side of the stage, the venue for the Portuguese group’s pioneering electrical projects Umbral, in a white half-colonial, half-extraterrestrial outfit, for a scripted music session with Technoid Voices (Theremin doing the job). Reminds me of Knitting Orchestra in Atomic Sputnik, rock and madness. Then we found the Baltic-Scandinavian trio of the terrible Lithuanian saxophonist Leodas Mukonas (heard in Lisbon last December with a Portuguese band), pianist Arnas Michalkinas and drummer Haakon Berry. The room is full, as it is most of the time here, and the very cool combination of the three instrumentalists is a fiery engine roaring and fantasizing with boundless energy, all in one long piece, like a particle accelerator tunnel. Next trio, guitarist Eurico Costawould suffer from inconsistency with the music of the former, though there was Damien Kapod on double bass and Marcus Cavalero on battery. In the large hall, the festival commissioned a pianist Miguel Mirrenhos A piece he introduced in the form of a pentagon with the British Joshua Scofield on alto sax.

Alphonse Sleek © Simon Trel / Minima

This very serious gig contrasts with the following Polish duo: Alphonse Slick. It consists of a drummer Simon Jasorick and keyboard player Grzegorz Tarwidthis Dadaist duo sparked a moment of fun and laughter for Full House, with its offbeat musical proposal, made up of contrasts, oppositions, texts and sounds and a stage full swing between Zappa, the Jack Brothers, Funkadelic and Jean Constantin: talent, creativity and boundless.

On the last day, groups 6-8 present the last 6 groups, including the proposed one (it’s the partnership that wants it) Alfred Vogel. The Austrian drummer, who is also a programmer for the Bezau Beatz Festival, comes every year with a group of young musicians to highlight. here, Eldar Tsalikov (Russian saxophonist), Valentine Gerhardus (German pianist), Felix Henkelhausen (German guitarist). Previously, the last two concerts I attended before I left were the trio Bud Wilson Flute player and saxophone player Joao Pedro Brandao – Also the coordinator of the collective group for this festival that invites Citizen Jazz to report – and the strange underground project of the singer Ines Malhero.

Bud Wilson © Simon Trel / Minima
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Bud Wilson he was playing ether, a devastating electric project accompanied by a fourth vocal in the creation of the sketches, displayed on the back of the stage. João Pedro Brandão has a foot keyboard for very deep bass which he plays at the same time as saxophone and flute. Demian Capud stays on the double bass vocals while Marcos Cavalero on drums and percussion spice it all up. This music written and repeated in pits is made of lines and tremors. The three musicians’ solos are moments of grace. She is beautiful, capricious and smart.

Finally, just before sneaking towards the exit, we discover at the bottom a cube made of transparent plastic tarpaulin in which six musicians are fixed who we will hear but not see. stabilizing Monetize, Deploy and Float, makes a permanent roar and gives the impression of a live instrument that reminds me of the novel “L’Herbe rouge” by Boris Vian. Everything seems to float, hanging in limbo.

Liquefaction, individualization and floating © Simon Trel / Minima

This edition of Porta Jazz So it will fulfill all its promises through international cooperation, cross-sectional projects, well-organized occupation of space and time. It is a very serious festival to discover without hesitation (and the city with it), which the audience obviously already knows because the halls are full.

The Portuguese scene is fond of writing and orchestrations, and the music is rich and laden, as are some of their churches. Almost nothing is missing to be exported to European festivals.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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