Jazz and Totalitarianism (2017)


My first contribution to Routledge’s Transnational Studies in Jazz Series, both, as editor advisor, and an author has been published in the Jazz and Totalitarianism (2017), edited by Bruce Johnson. My article, titled “A Kind of ‘in-between’: Jazz and Politics in Portugal (1958-1971)”, explores the use of jazz as a form of protest and a symbol of freedom during the Portuguese right-wing colonialist Estado Novo regime.


A Kind of ‘in-between’: Jazz and Politics in Portugal (1958-1971)


The article will investigate the use of jazz music as a form of protest against the Portuguese Estado Novo (New State) regime and its colonial policies (1958-1961), and a symbol of freedom to configure new social realities in Portugal (1971-1974). In 1958 Salazar’s regime of Estado Novo, in response to international pressure eased repression and promoted ‘free elections’ to give the illusion of a free country. In this context, students at the University of Lisbon founded the Clube Universitário de Jazz (CUJ; University Jazz Club). The Portuguese police closed it in 1961 after the first signs of the war of independence in Angola. In 1971, during Caetano administration, Portugal hosted an important international jazz festival. Although state-sponsored, it became a space of political resistance for thousands and led to the arrest of American bass player Charlie Haden. This article will analyse jazz discourses and practices in Portugal during these important historical moments: 1958 and 1971.

Keywords: Jazz; Portugal; Estado Novo; Clube Universitário de Jazz; Cascais International Jazz Festival; Charlie Haden; Resistance


Jazz Research Journal, Vol 10, No. 1-2 (2016)

Historical overview of the development of jazz in Portugal, in the first half of the twentieth century


The principal aim of this article is to give a historical overview of the development of jazz in Portugal during the first half of the twentieth century. As a matter of fact, little is known in the international jazz research community about Portuguese jazz historiography. Perhaps the best-known jazz-related episode was Charlie Haden’s arrest by the Portuguese political police in November 1971. However, the history of jazz in Portugal as musical and social practice is more complex than just the American musicians who visited the country. This article traces a broad perspective of the perceptions and attitudes of jazz held by musicians, aficionados and detractors, and the way in which those representations, perceptions and attitudes were conditioned by certain social-political conditions of the Portuguese history. It starts with the reception of the music in Portugal in the post-WWI years and early jazz criticism. Statements about jazz that represent the dominant positions are analysed according to the Portuguese colonial ideology of the time. It continues with the development of jazz during both the Military Dictatorship period (1926–1932) and the Portuguese Estado Novo regime’s early years (1933–1945). It concludes in the post-WWII years, with the emergence of Lisbon’s jazz scene and the foundation of Hot Club of Portugal.

Keywords: Portugal, Military Dictatorship; Estado Novo; Jazz; Reception


Cadernos do Jazz em Portugal – Essays of Jazz in Portugal (2016)

Jazz em Coimbra

This study is the first issue of a bilingual editorial project (in Portuguese and English) dedicated to jazz historiography in Portugal, named Cadernos do Jazz em Portugal – Essays of Jazz in Portugal – and edited by Jazz Ao Centro Clube’s Educational Service. At a first stage, with the Cadernos de Jazz em Portugal, I aim to present the significant players and events in the process of development of jazz in Portugal throughout the Estado Novo regime (1933-1974).

Este estudo constitui o primeiro número de um projecto bilingue, protuguês – inglês, dedicado à historiografia do Jazz em Portugal, designado por Cadernos de Jazz em Portugal editado pelo Jazz ao Centro Clube / Serviço Educativo. Numa primeira fase, com os Cadernos de Jazz em Portugal, pretende-se dar a conhecer os principais protagonistas e acontecimentos associados ao processo de desenvolvimento do Jazz em Portugal durante o regime do Estado Novo (1933-1974).


Quaderns de Cine, 9 (2014)

Jazz on Portuguese film: Belarmino (1964) and Alice (2005) – Two Milestones


In a broad perspective on the history of Portuguese film, both Belarmino and Alice play decisive roles. If the first is an inescapable reference for understanding what Portuguese Cinema Novo (New Cinema) was and what kind of artistic rupture was taking place in the 1960’s in Portugal, the second also marks a breakup from former Portuguese film-making and a rapprochement to broader film audiences. The fact that both films have jazz music as soundtracks come not just as chance, but also as a relevant circumstance. Both movies and their music form a wealth of information about Portuguese society and its jazz community at two different times: in the sixties under Salazar’s dictatorial Estado Novo regime; and at the beginning of the 21st century as a full member of the European Union.