Lantana / João Mortágua

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Open-Air Amphitheatre R. Dr. Nicolau Bettencourt, Lisbon

No intermission



Joana Guerra Cello
Maria do Mar Violin
Maria Radich Vocals
Helena Espvall Cello
Carla Santana Electronics
Anna Piosik Trumpet

One of the biggest surprises of 2019 with regard to Portuguese creative music was this group which chose Lantana, the infesting weeds of the countryside, as its name. And not only because it is exclusively made up of women – it arose with its own musical personality and that differentiates it from the others in the field of improvisation. Right at its birth, it had the advantage of being showcased in another area which introduced it to other audiences, when the singer Lula Pena chose it to accompany her in an artistic residency and in several concerts.

Lantana’s music then confirmed its hypnotic character, but in a way that never coincided with musical practices of “evasion”. The movement that drives their performances is pendular, almost reminiscent of a piece from the start of Steve Reich’s journey, “Pendulum Music”. “Almost” because Lantana's timbral exuberance has little to do with the asceticism of this piece by the American composer: sometimes the back-and-forth of the fabric is more similar to the advances and retreats of a swing, to use an infantile reference, while on other occasions we can imagine the brutal insistence of the waves of the sea. In the middle, accident is tolerated and used, appearing as if due to the failure of the forces of nature. In those moments, everything changes, with the classic tonal level hitherto explored then giving way to atonalisms and noise.

Rui Eduardo Paes


João Mortágua – Dentro da Janela

João Mortágua Alto and soprano saxophones
José Pedro Coelho Tenor saxophone
Miguel Moreira Electric guitar
José Carlos Barbosa Double bass
José Marrucho Drums

When we contextualize the new “Dentro da Janela” (Inside the Window) (2019) with the previous “Janela” (Window) and take into consideration the other intermediated projects, such as “AXES” and “Mirrors”, what is evident is that João Mortágua exchanges a simple evolution in time for something to burrow ever more “inside”, ever more deeply, within his own musical ideas. It is no longer just an improvement of the experience that is at stake, but an increasing focus on what is essential. Even when the music we are given to listen to is an amalgamation of various trends in today’s creative music.

In this case, there is not only something of electric jazz which has incorporated funk and rock within its schemes and something of that jazz that included aspects of the music that we call classical, but also embodiments which have decanted some of the definitive characteristics of so-called prog or blues-rock from the 1970s, of post-rock music 20 years later, from experimental and improvised music from several decades, from dance music made with electronics or from pop songs. Mortágua’s concepts are so synthesized in compositional and arrangement terms that the saxophonist and composer from the North of Portugal achieves something rare, where the same music which provokes irresistible physical reactions also shows an enormous complexity.

Rui Eduardo Paes

JAZZ 2020

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation joined forces with Associação Porta-Jazz and Jazz ao Centro Clube to present Jazz 2020, a cycle of 10 concerts in Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra. Between 31 July and 9 August, Portuguese jazz and improvised music will be once more on the agenda!

In a time where many artists have seen their projects cancelled or postponed, this edition is also an opportunity to support more than 60 musicians and the technical teams involved in these concerts.



The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation reserves the right to collect and keep records of images, sounds and voice for the diffusion and collective preservation of the memory of its cultural and artistic activity. For further information, please contact us at [email protected].

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