Atualizado: 31 de mar.
José Duarte was one of the most important Portuguese jazz gatekeepers. He wrote books, produced and presented television and radio shows, all of them about jazz. His daily radio show “5 Minutos de Jazz” (5 minutes of jazz) was the longest running Portuguese radio show of all times – since 1966. Until recently, José delivered his famous “audições comentadas” (commented auditions) to numerous live audiences, where he would play records and comment them, teaching and preaching about what jazz is or how to identify swing – when it makes you move, he would say. He created a new way – poetic – to write and think about jazz, and coined neologisms such as “ouver” (a portmanteau of two essential verbs: to listen/ouvir and to see/ver) and reinvented colloquial expressions such as “até jazz” (from até já, the Portuguese equivalent to see you later). He didn’t just write and talk about jazz – he wrote and talked jazz.
José Duarte – or Jazzé, as he would call himself – was controversial, brutally blunt, and inconveniently sincere. But also incredibly generous.
When I released my first album, in 2013, José Duarte came to see me play. He insisted we had dinner before the show, and so we did. A month later my record was playing every day for a whole week in his radio show. He wanted to know the human experience behind the music. Everything he wrote and said about the music was rooted in the premise that the music is both the trigger and the result of a unique, personal and collective human experience.
I will forever be grateful to him.
Até jazz, Jazzé.
Photo © DR