( Composer /Producer /Orchestral Conductor /Arranjer /Piano )
The project “O GAJO” was born in Lisbon, in the spring of 2016 by the hands of João Morais with the intention of linking his music to the land that saw him born, Portugal.
This is how the relationship with the Viola Campaniça, a traditional root instrument that forms part of Portuguese centenary and cultural history, arises.
Also known as Viola Alentejana, the Viola Campaniça was the musical instrument used to accompany the celebrated songs at the feasts and fairs of the Alentejo. It is the largest of the Portuguese Violas and has 5 orders of strings traditionally played by fingering only with the thumb.
João Morais has been a musician since 1988 and after almost 30 years playing guitars from outside, it is in a concert in Beja (Alentejo) that he knows the Viola Campaniça. The one that brings to Lisbon gains new shades away from the more traditional language but keeping its Portugueseness intact.
O GAJO compositions may sound like Fado, but they are not Fado, they may sound like traditional music, but they are not traditional music, they are a hybrid of it all and much more.
O GAJO plays World Music!
The first record “Longe do Chão” was out on the stores in the 20th of May 2017 and since then he has been playing all over the country with excellent feedback from both public and press.
His love for music has led him to a diverse career path, having immersed himself in academic research, authoring a book and other publications, and serving as a local councillor for culture, education, youth, tourism, entrepreneurship. During the same time he never stopped composing and performing.
He captivates us with both his music and his words. You get touched by every word, by every note.
HELDER BRUNO (1976) was born in Coimbra, Portugal. He started playing the piano when he was nine. At 11 years old, he initiated his studies at the Music Conservatory of Coimbra, where he completed “Music Theory & Analysis”. There, he became a member of both the choir and the school’s big band.
His growing fascination for Jazz music led him to enrol at the Jazz School of Oporto (Portugal), where he joined the Dixieland Orchestra. He attended Jazz Improvisation courses and workshops and master classes taught by Portuguese jazz musicians such as Bernardo Moreira, Bernardo Sassetti, Carlos Bica, Carlos Martins, Carlos Barretto, Carlos Zíngaro, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Pedro Moreira.
In 1999 he obtained his degree in Musical Education at the College of Education (ESEC) in Coimbra. In 2001 he started working as an assistant professor at the College of Education of Coimbra. Between 2001 and 2005, Hélder Bruno engaged in research at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Coimbra, where he earned his master’s degree in Musicology with his thesis on the phenomenon of jazz music in Portugal during the fascist dictatorship.
In 2006 he published his first book, “Jazz em Portugal (1920 – 1956)” – published by Almedina. Also in 2006, he started his PhD studies at the University of Aveiro, where he integrated the “Ethnomusicology Institute – The Music and Dance Study Centre” and the“Jazz Studies Centre” as a researcher.
He composes a wide range of music styles.
At the moment, HELDER BRUNO is focused on his contemporary classical music project “The Presence, Serene and Tender”.
Um Corpo Estranho