You’re classically trained, how did you get into jazz?
“Yes, I studied classical music in Porto where I’m from. At that time in Portugal there weren’t any jazz degrees or anything similar, the only way you could study music in an official school or conservatory was by following the classical route.”
“I was playing electric guitar for some years already, mainly Rock and Blues in the beginning but venturing occasionally into Jazz. In part through the influence of my guitar teacher at the time but as more as I learned about it as more it became an addiction.”
“When I eventually decided to become a musician, the obvious thing to do was to study classical music, which I did whilst keeping learning Jazz in private lessons.”
“Jazz was not very well seen by most of the classical tutors so I had to keep it almost a secret. My classical technique had to be kept immaculate and without interference from different approaches to music and to the guitar. Of course I didn’t do that.”
“By the time I finished the conservatory, my pursuit for jazz had lead me to participate in several seminars, workshops and private lessons with world renowned jazz musicians.”
You’re originally from Portugal but now London-based. What brought you to London?
“Before I left Portugal I always had the dream of getting out and living somewhere else. Part of it was the craving for a new and adventurous experience and the other part was the fascination of trying to make it as a jazz musician, specially somewhere where dreams could eventually go worldwide. I applied to several Jazz degrees around Europe but when I got in at the Middlesex University in London I didn’t think twice and moved here in 2004.”
Tell us about your gig at The Verdict on Friday 5th February. What can we expect to hear?
“This gig is going to be the launch of my newest album New World.”
“The music in this band is very diverse. It does have a cohesive and unique sound but it leads the listener through an extremely wide spectrum of atmospheres and textures unveiling lots of other music influences. Rock-like edgy riffs and catchy melodies are a trademark but if offers lots of varied platforms for the music to spontaneously grow and develop into completely different directions.”
“I played at The Verdict once before and really like the venue. It’s almost like playing in a theatre. There is that silence, light and atmosphere that enables the audience to get completely immersed into the music being played.”
Tell us about the musicians in your band and what you like most about performing with them.
“Unfortunately some of the musicians on the album can’t make this gig and I had to find someone else to replace them. It happens very often in the Jazz world and sometimes at last minute like in this case. The good news is that there’s a lot of amazing musicians available.”
“Chris Williams is playing alto sax. Probably most known for playing with the band Led Bib or with Arun Gosh. Chris is the only member I refuse to replace. He is an extremely unique player and a force of nature. He takes the band to extraordinary peaks of energy.”
“Alam Nathoo is playing tenor sax (George Crowley on the album). Alam plays with a lot of people including the band Oriole. He’s a virtuoso who devours the most difficult set of chord changes with an impressive touch of musicality.”
“Andrea Di Biase is on bass. He’s one of the most in demand bass players not only in London but also in Europe and more specifically in Italy where he gigs a lot. Being technically very gifted he is also one of the most inventive and musical players of the lot.”
“Adam Teixeira is playing drums (Dave Hamblett on the album). Adam is a Canadian drummer living in London at the moment despite being almost constantly touring around the world. I didn’t play with Adam yet. He was recommended to me and after seeing some videos of a band he used to have with Greg Osby I think I’m in good hands.”
For more information on Vitor Pereira:
The Vitor Pereira Quintet appears at The Verdict in Brighton on Friday 5th February