Born: April 25, 1960 Primary Instrument: Piano
Working as a musician for more than twenty years, Mário Laginha is usually connoted to the jazz world. But, if it’s true that in the beginning he followed a predominantly jazzy path – he was one of the founders of the Sexteto de Jazz de Lisboa (1984), he created the Mário Laginha Decateto (1987) and he leads his own trio, - the musical universe he has constructed with singer Maria João is a tribute to all the music he loves – beginning with jazz, but including Brazilian, Indian and African music, pop, rock and, of course, the classical basis that was present in his academic studies and that would influence his first solo project, inspired by Bach’s music (Songs and Fugues, 2006).
Mário Laginha has articulated his strong musical personality with a strong will to share his art with other musicians and creators. Firstly, with Maria João, which resulted as one of the most consistent and original on Portuguese music, with over than ten albums released and hundreds of concerts in venues and festivals all over the world (Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival and many others). Secondly, at the end of the 80’s, with classical pianist Pedro Burmester, with whom we would record a CD - a duo enlarged to a trio with Bernardo Sassetti, in 2007, for the project “3 Pianos”, with a CD and a DVD recorded, besides a dozen of concerts strongly acclaimed by the audiences and the critic. Till his unexpected disappearance, Bernardo Sassetti was one of Mário Laginha’s musical partners and accomplices, with many dozens of concerts and two CD recorded, the later of which dedicated to José Afonso’s music.
With a solid classical education, Mário Laginha has written music for different formations such as the Hamburg Radio Big Band, Frankfurt Big Band, Hannover Philharmonic Orchestra, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Casa da Música Remix Ensemble, Drumming Percussion Group and the Porto Symphonic Orchestra. He has also played, in stage and in studio, with exceptional musicians as Wolfgang Muthspiel, Trilok Gurtu, Gilberto Gil, Lenine, Armando Marçal, Ralph Towner, Manu Katché, Dino Saluzzi, Kai Eckhardt, Julian Argüelles, Steve Argüelles, Howard Johnson, Django Bates, among many others. He also writes for cinema and theatre.
His most recent works are “Mongrel”, in trio with Bernardo Moreira and Alexandre Frazão, in which Laginha took original themes by Chopin and transformed them in his own language, and “Iridescente”, with Maria João, recorded at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.