It will come as no surprise to anyone that the current pandemic which is haunting the world has had very direct effects on movements between countries. Such movements, where crossing continents a short time ago was a mere formality, are no longer a certainty. These constraints on the carefree way we lived until very recently, provide an invitation for us to look around us and consider everything that is close to us more attentively. If the moment is forcing us to turn inwards, let us learn from that moment. Hence the idea of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to open its Open Air Amphitheatre to a careful selection of avant-garde jazz and improvised music made in Portugal.
Jazz 2020 also includes a clear desire to support the return of Portuguese musicians to the stage, in a period involving recognized difficulty for the particular medium of national jazz. To this end, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation decided to join with the Porta-Jazz Association, based in Porto, and Jazz at the Centro Clube, which operates in Coimbra, for the presentation of this cycle that will span 10 concerts - six of which will be held in the Open Air Amphitheatre between 31 July and 9 August.
The festival starts off in the magnificent Open Air Amphitheatre, with a special focus dedicated to musical projects originating in the vicinity of Porta-Jazz. The start of this is entrusted to the hands of Coreto, a formation that has brought together many of the musicians whose centre of gravity is the Porto association, followed by a performance by Impermanence, a highly praised quintet led by the trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and, on the second weekend, the project Inside the window (Dentro da Janela) headed by the saxophonist João Mortágua.
The immense diversity of the programme, proof of the enormous vitality of Portuguese jazz, has also issued an invitation to the Amphitheatre to the female quintet Lantana, the harpist Angélica Salvi, the trio The Selva, the most recent incarnation of the Communion group of João Lencastre and the tribute to the composer Olivier Messiaen which the pianist Daniel Bernardes has created which also involves Drumming GP.
Coimbra will host performances by two trios (the TGB of Sérgio Carolino, Mário Delgado and Alexandre Frazão, and the partnership between Luís Vicente, Hugo Antunes and Pedro Melo Alves) and Porto will host the André Rosinha Trio and the quartet which brings together Ricardo Toscano, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Miguel Mira and Gabriel Ferrandini.
Plenty of reasons to leave the house and discover the exciting paths that Portuguese jazz is currently exploring. And to meet again, under the best of pretexts.