Jazz in August at the Gulbenkian (Jazz em Agosto)

Photo © Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. See Practical information below for credits.
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Country and Region PortugalLisboa
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Festival Contact Information

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Jazz em Agosto Artistic Director – Rui Neves
Av. de Berna, 45ª
1067-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Phone: (351) 217-823-000, or (351) 217-823-475
Fax: (351) 217-823-041
Email: jazzagosto@gulbenkian.pt, or

Festival Description

In the programme of the 28th edition of Jazz em Agosto, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Brötzmann, John Hollenbeck — four individuals who to various degrees have over time influenced whole generations of jazz, stand out with special splendour. They underscore the identity of the festival which, ever since 1984, has been showcasing innovative tendencies and alternatives of music in permanent evolution. Four individuals who also assume the significance of good returns to a festival they had been on before: Cecil Taylor, solo piano (1988), Wadada Leo Smith/The Golden Quartet (2001), Peter Brötzmann/Die Like A Dog (2000) and Chicago Tentet (2008), John Hollenbeck/The Claudia Quintet (2006).

At the onset of the second decade of the 21st century, where a multitude of styles and genres are definitely on the radar, as well on this year’s programme we see generational encounters of talents, such as Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House, Little Women, Luís Lopes Humanization 4tet, Fire!. The junction of duos The Ex meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo, on the other hand, will be emblematic as far as the historic and natural proximity between jazz and rock is concerned. Raying out from its main stage, the Gulbenkian open air amphitheatre, Jazz em Agosto 2011 will stage three abrasive concerts at Teatro do Bairro, a new venue set in a cosmopolitan area of Lisbon (Bairro Alto), which will recreate the informal atmosphere of the clubs jazz so much cherishes.

In a time like ours, where documentary movies dedicated to jazz proliferate, Jazz em Agosto 2011 presents four movies to go with the programme: Cecil Taylor: All The Notes by Cristopher Felver, Black February: A Film About Butch Morris by Vipal Monga, Play Your Own Thing/A Story Of Jazz In Europe by Julian Benedikt, Femmes Du Jazz/Women In Jazz by Gilles Corre.

Theoretic eloquence, always present at the festival, this year will be represented by the renowned American critic Bill Shoemaker, who will elaborate on the importance of Cecil Taylor – The Worlds of Cecil Taylor. Welcome to Jazz em Agosto 2011, the other side of jazz.
Rui Neves — Artistic Director

Festival Dates August 2 - 11, 2013
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Programming 2011:
    August 5, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • Just as Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane, this unique pianist has given his lasting contribution to a decisive turn in jazz. Exploring the bulk of his instrument’s possibilities is one of his main characteristics. He is recognized for having an original language which also owes a lot to western classical music and which has become testamental for the present. This rare solo concert will allow putting on display his multidimensional dynamics: the poetry, the dance, the Jazz.
    August 6, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • The rise of a German saxophonist in tempestuous transformation and with a career in London and New York. Her new project agglutinates an overt diversity that evokes chapters of jazz history in collision. The antagonisms of language succeed each other with logic, from abrasive to intimate, in a band where individual glamour and interaction prevail.
    August 7, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • Co-founder of Chicago AACM, a powerhouse of the last decades’ creative music, the trumpet player and composer has been redefining the contours of jazz improvisation. From the myriad of his projects, the nonet Organic privileges percussive electric guitars and differentiated basses in an experimental context that explores the dimension of space set in a framework of real time imagery.
    August 12, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • In the wake of LAST EXIT or DIE LIKE A DOG (Jazz em Agosto 2000), the new cooperative quartet of Peter Brötzmann, a lighthouse of European improvisation, celebrates his 70th anniversary, explores dissonant lyricisms and vigorous confrontations. From the whole of it, a continuous practice of libertarian music is reborn, an heir to free jazz which expands horizons.
    August 13, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • Two duos in an innovative and rarely witnessed association which sums up to an effective partnership of intensities. A strong empathy among four that boasts vibrant phrasings rooted in radical rock and in jazz improvisation and avoids falling into the traps and commonplaces of the genre.
    August 13, 9:30pm (21h30), Anfiteatro ao Ar Livre
    • A disciple of Bob Brookmeyer, the drummer, composer and arranger John Hollenbeck is a vivid present-day portray of Third Stream. The Large Ensemble, founded in 2005, renew the big band tradition by modelling angular lines and uncommon forms with creativity and experience as it explores an opulence of textures with clarity and sophistication. The JHLE on their European première are the grand final of JAZZ EM AGOSTO 2011.
    August 9, 9:30pm (22h00), Teatro do Bairro
    • In a happy conjunction between Lisbon and Dallas (Texas), ever since 2008 this Luso-American quartet has been making an intense, dry and radical music which owes as much to free jazz as it does to punk rock. Soon catapulted to and applauded in the international circuit, LLHQ excel by their degree of collective improvisation built around themes/riffs in healthy proportions, giving birth to a very physical and warm music.
    • Living in Lisbon for more than 20 years, where he has accompanied the local evolution in the domain of dance music, he has also been prolific in radio collaborations (XFM, RCP, Rádio Marginal, Rádio Oxigénio), DJ Johnny extends his universe beyond drum’n’bass by endeavouring in jazz, soul, hip-hop and Afro dance hall reggae, which he crossbreeds with recent languages of dance music.
  • VJ PTV
    • Having studied design, photography, video and cinematography, João Pinto, a.k.a. VJ PTV, utilizes specific present-time technologies for image production that adapt to any setting: installations, theatre, music, dance and DJs. His collaboration with DJ Johnny, which has been going on since 1996, vouches for the best of perspectives.
    August 10, 9:30pm (22h00), Teatro do Bairro
    • An organic quartet, a sonic foundation, where Darius Jones stands out and which is rooted in a barrage of two saxophones in unison, propelled by electric guitar & drums, just like a human heart pumping blood, in the musicians’ own words. An original language, continually expressed, quick and dense, harmonic and polyphonic.
    • See above.
  • VJ PTV
    • See above.
  • FIRE!
    August 11, 10:00pm (22h00), Teatro do Bairro
    • The new project by Mats Gustafsson & acolytes of a new generation presents him opposed to the characteristic posture of an athletic wind instrumentalist. Derivative, but not less decisive, the trio goes back and forth between a cathartic performance and temperate sonic angles (Fender Rhodes), showing openness to the most ample and unexpected references.
    • See above.
  • VJ PTV
    • See above.
    August 6, 6:30pm (18h30), Sala Polivalente
    • Turned when Cecil Taylor (born 1929) was 75 years old, this picture by film director Christopher Fulver, who became notorious through his documentaries of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Cage and Sonic Youth, depicts the day-to-day life of the pianist at home, at the club, with students, at rehearsals and in concerts. Testimonies by figures like Elvin Jones and Amiri Baraka turn this glimpse of a paramount musician of the 20th century even more unique.
    August 7, 6:30pm (18h30), Sala Polivalente
    • On each and every day of February, 2005, Butch Morris gave concerts to celebrate his 20th anniversary of conduction, a technique of live leadership improvisation for media and big collectives. The young Brooklyn cinematographer Vipal Ponga registers the process of making music, whereas musicians like Henry Threadgill, Andrea Parkins, Graham Haynes, Newman Baker and critics Howard Mandel and Greg Tate vouch for the genius of the composer.
    August 12, 6:30pm (18h30), Sala Polivalente
    • Without making theoretical judgements, this movie by the important German cinematographer Julian Benedikt describes in musical, visual and spiritual terms the process of the development of jazz in Europe. Emancipation, freedom and stylistic variety are characteristic of consecrated European musicians like Miroslav Vitous, Jan Garbarek, Palle Mikelborg, Thomas Stanko, Krzystof Komeda, Pierre Michelot or René Urtreger, pioneers of new jazz in post-World War II Europe who cleared the way for an avant-garde that came after them.
    August 13, 6:30pm (18h30), Sala Polivalente
    • French cinematographer Gilles Corre (born 1954), who studied at the renowned IDHEC, portrays, in New York and in great detail, the rise of jazz made by women through 20 outstanding artists like Susie Ibarra, Jayne Cortez, Myra Melford, Ingrid Jensen, Maria Schneider, Marilyn Crispell, Miya Masaoka, Jane Ira Bloom, Sylvia Cuenka, Jeanne Lee, Akua Dixon-Turre (Quartet Indigo), among others, in concert and interview, in a universe usually dominated by men.
  • BILL SHOEMAKER (Conference
    August 14, 6:30pm (18h30), Sala Polivalente
    • “The Worlds of Cecil Taylor” — The title of this talk references pianist Cecil Taylor’s classic recording, The World of Cecil Taylor. Taylor’s music has undergone a steady evolution in the half-century since the release of this album. Additionally, the articulation of Taylor’s music has changed radically. Once all but shunned by the jazz establishment, he is now celebrated as an American Jazz Master. The talk will trace the changes in Taylor’s music and its incremental acceptance by the international jazz community, using excerpts from recordings and examples from print media as illustrations. Arguably, the world in which Cecil Taylor made his initial impact on jazz no longer exists, and the world in which he is now revered had yet to be born – hence, “The Worlds of Cecil Taylor.”


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Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Cecil Taylor, ©all rights reserved
    • DJ Jonhny, photo by ©José Fernandes
    • FIRE!, photo by ©Johan Dahlroth
    • Hairy Bones, photo by ©Elsbeth Scmidt
    • Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House, photo ©All rights reserved
    • Little Women, photo by ©Ben Goldstein
    • Luís Lopes Harmonization 4tet, photo by ©António Júlio Duarte
    • The Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo, photo by ©Petra Cvelbar
    • VJ PTV, photo ©All rights reserved
    • Wadada Leo Smith, photo by ©ExB
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
    Av. De Berna, 45A
  • 1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal


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