21. December 2020

LUSITANIAN EXPLORATIONS by Henning Bolte

Portugal the country on the outer European Atlantic shore not only has the highest ocean waves. It has a distinctive, culturally marked jazz scene: colorful, free-spirited, and in motion. Presence and visibility of Portuguese musicians has been growing over the past years at jazzhead! All the more reason to take a closer look at the state of jazz in Portugal, its domestic dynamics and international connections. As a long-time connoisseur and critical external observer of jazz and free improvisation in Portugal, Henning Bolte, the author of this article, explores the scene as a whole. The article takes you on a tour through Portugal, provides a topography and history of the country’s jazz hotspots and cornerstones with main artists, labels, protagonists and also touches on self-organization and funding facilities to develop its potentials, international presence and impact.