Maria João makes a name for herself with impressive vocal flexibility, which she often uses to blend folk, avant-garde and electronica, turning her concerts into a true vocal spectacle. Throughout her long and fascinating career, Maria João has so far recorded 23 albums.
The singer has no formal musical education and until well in her 20s, her life had been more involved with the sport than music. 1982, when she is 26 years old, marks the true beginning of her singing career. In 1983 Maria João forms a quintet with Mário Laginha. This is their first joint project. She also has had collaborations with Aki Takase, Bobby McFerrin, David Linx, Gilberto Gil, Dino Saluzzi and many others. She has participated in the most prestigious European and world jazz festivals, received numerous awards, and today she stands as an icon of improvisational jazz, as well as being regarded among the best performers in the world. One could say Maria João sings like few could or would dare to.
For the pianist Mário Laginha making music is an act of sharing. His duet with Maria João gives rise to one of the most profound and original projects in contemporary Portuguese music. Mário Laginha graduates the National Conservatory with honours, but this would not chain him into being just a classical pianist. During the 80s he plays in a duo with classical pianist Pedro Burmeister. Through his unique jazz point of view, he creates a repertoire that includes compositions by Maurice Ravel, Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland. Later he forms the Mario Laginha Trio, which is perhaps closest to jazz albeit with an unconventional style. The band records Espaço in 2008 – an album that bridges music and architecture, and in Mongrel (2010), the trio includes Chopin in its musical universe. Mário Laginha composes for multiple diverse musical formations, national and radio orchestras, for theatre and film.
November 1 | 11h | Bee Bop Café
A day after the concert, Maria João and Mário Laginha will head a workshop dedicated to vocal artistry and piano in jazz. The workshop is free and doesn’t require advance enrolment.