© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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domingo, 4 de maio de 2014

The sound of Binau


This is a live drawing of Bernardo Moreira (aka Binau).

Jazz begun in Portugal with a small group of people that were interested in the genre.

Back in the days, we lived dictatorship and jazz was not only different from what was heard around here, but a liberating type of music.

The Sangareau brothers's house was the stage for meetings with Ivo and Augusto Mayer, Gérard de Castelo Lopes, Manuel Menano, Helena and Luís Villas Boas. This group constituted the first main core who informally gathered to share records and play. In 1945, they've made the first Portuguese jam session ever.
Over time, the word spread and the group enlarged. Binau, joined them afterwords along with a group of people that studied with him in Coimbra and some others.
All of them made part of the constitution of the Hot Club de Portugal and actively contributed to promote Jazz.

Working as a Civil Engineer, Binau has never quit his passion for music, and was an active double bass player for 30 years. As he says, he was "not the best Portuguese Double Bass player", but for a long time, he was "the only one".

You can see him playing in the Portuguese landmark film, Belarmino, a film from Fernando Lopes about a Boxer - Belarmino Fragoso - where you can see the Lisbon of the 60's and the old Hot Club, where some scenes where filmed, with Binau playing with Jean Pierre Gebler, a famous Belgium baritone saxophone player. Simply mythical.

Luís Villas Boas Jazz School was created in 1979 by Zé Eduardo (whom I've also drawn, here) , was the first jazz school in Portugal and opened up paths to new forms of music here. Many popular Portuguese musicians who are not jazz related, studied here too.
When Villas Boas died, Binau was later directing the Luís Villas Boas Jazz School for 19 years, where he also taught History of Jazz.

Three of his four sons are active jazz musicians - Bernardo Moreira (double bass), Pedro Moreira (saxophone) and João Moreira (trumpet).

On this night he was playing with Just in Time, the project that launched the first Hot Club label edition CD/ LP.

I had never seen him playing before, and this formation of musicians + guests was unique. It was just beautiful to see him back on stage. He shone.

B-i-n-a-u, I also have to say I love the sound of this name.

The club was completely packed and it was hard to find a space to make this drawing. It was made in one of the Hot Club program flyers back, a recurrent canvas for my drawings over the last 15 years.

Inspiring as it gets, his name could be a mantraBinau, Be now. Thank you!

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