The Portuguese Youth Orchestra Big Band Júnior starts a series of concerts for children at the São Luiz Municipal Theater in Lisbon on October 6 to show that “jazz is not that difficult to hear.”
The series is called “O Jazz é um para ti”, is directed at children from the age of six and has performances by the Big Band Junior commented by the pianist Inês Laginha. The goal is to put viewers in interaction with young musicians and demystify pre-conceived ideas about jazz, Inês Laginha told Lusa.
“We assume that something is complex because we do not try to talk to a child. Jazz comes from oral tradition, complexity comes more from adults,” explained the pianist, who has collaborated with the Big Band Junior.
Three concerts are planned, as an open rehearsal, on October 6, February 9 and March 30, in that municipal theater, but there are plans to extend the initiative to other cities.
The first concert of this cycle will be dedicated to the repertoire of Bernardo Sassetti, in which the Big Band Junior has worked in recent months, and with which he has just recorded an album, to be released in the spring of 2019.
“It’s a very lyrical repertoire, with very chanting melodies” and easy to approach to the younger audience, explained Inês Laginha.
In these 45-minute concerts, the aim is to show the audience the instruments of the orchestra, to experience sounds and melodies, to tell stories of jazz and for the musicians to talk about their own experience in the Big Band, in an attempt to bring the music closer to children .
“It’s more a way of approaching music, more than just talking about jazz. Music is very much a language of contact and if there is contact from an early age, it comes naturally,” said the pianist, praising the innovative nature of this type of initiatives for the youngest.
Created in 2010, the Big Band Junior is a jazz school orchestra which includes about twenty musicians between 12 and 19 years old, with stages and concerts.
In addition to these three dates of the cycle ‘Jazz is for you’, the Big Band Junior has other concerts, such as the one that is scheduled for October 5 in Setúbal with repertoire by Sassetti and participation by singer Rita Maria and pianist Filipe Raposo.
On October 20, they perform at Bragança Jazz.