© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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quinta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2014

My drawings of Jazz em Agosto Festival

I specially love Lisbon in August – no traffic jams, and loads of tourists intoning the language of the streets.
This beginning of August was no different from others before, where I have postponed my vacation time to see some great concerts in Gulbenkian Foundation. And what a big music programming they had.

Just to name a few, major musicians like Evan Parker, Marc Ribbot, Fred Frith, Franz Hautzinger, Hamid Drake, Keiji Haito where playing there.

I had the privilege to be drawing live for Jazz.pt where a selection of the drawings I’ve done was published. 22 drawings of 10 days of festival are worth a word about each one of them.

Take a sneak peek below.


James “Blood” Ulmer was playing, the moods where high for the first day of the festival. The lens of his sunglasses reflected blues as he and his band made me travel to some 70’s psychedelic experience.


Evan Parker has proved his skills as a first class leading musician. I had the privilege to participate in an Artistic Residency with him some years ago. His circular breathing inspired me to do a spiral wired Evan.

If time were a mechanism and the piano were a clock was the sentence that haunted me all concert long, while Matthew Ship pitched the piano, with patience and mechanic precision. I used a special technique on this drawing to make the ink peel. 


Ladies and Gentleman we are heading to the Ceramic Dog Saloon here. The beginning of their concert was a mixture between folk, blues and rock. It led me to the idea to represent the trio with a Texas Saloon swinging doors like and the trio (Marc Ribbot, Shazad Ismaily and Ches Smith) in a progressive ochre gradient. 


Marc Ducret’s playing fading into a labyrinth was my idea to portray his Real thing#3 music based on Vladimir Nabokov’s book Ada.


Luís Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio was a high moment of the festival for me. Luís was playing with an Orange Amp which led me to the color theme in this drawing: orange and black, irreverent and rocky as he was.

Christian Lillinger‘s long punky fringe was the pendulum to his movements – performative and vigorous. There was an acid mustard tone while his mind spun fast. Sehr Berliner indeed.


Franz Hautzinger’s Big Rain was my favorite concert of the festival. I think it was because I was so hooked to each band member’s performance: Franz Hautzinger, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Hamid Drake and Keiji Haino – a real luxury.
With such monsters (in the good sense) playing with Franz Hautzinger, I envied his sense of poetry and silence, listening to others and making rain interventions. He is the mentor of this band and so I decided to write him a poem about his music. He personally helped me to translate it to German (Danke Franz!)
When the rain comes
And you are Air
And the floor
And the Earth

The trumpet is crossing Franz. I first saw live Franz, 10 years ago in this same festival. I was also drawing him and the Regenorchester XI. It was a concert I will never forget. It changed my life.

The beauty of Keiji Haino resided in the black curtain of language less phonemes, of movements struck by a vertical lightening bolt.

Must’ve been a butterfly that was at Jamaaladeen Tacuma’s spirit that night. He was cheerful and gathered through the darkest with the lightest part of this band. While he was playing, I remembered many times of No Jive, funky and groovy as he is.

Hamid Drake was a mystical being that I had the luck to draw this night. In profile and front portrait, his enlightened omnipresence never failed to shine and make others shine too. Quite a hard task in any band, and particularly on this one, but he made it with distinction. I drew with both hands on this one.


Fred Frith is one of these musicians that had impressed me in past concerts. He was sprinkling the sparks of the world with chains, brushes and another myriad of things he used to make sounds. I wanted this drawing to have a progression from a very graphic top, to a pen drawing and an almost invisible pencil sketch, almost disappearing.  It was just that little something from danger to almost insignificant detail he knows how to do.

It was the first time ever I drew two times the same musician in the same event. I always try not to, but this time, Hamid Drake’s performance was so outstanding and had so much to draw about that my ideas were just bubbling. It was the hardest working drawing I made from this festival. His mystical touch and creative sensitivity made me see the transcendental that was taking place right in my front. I drew his head live and then imagined an Egyptian divinity’s body with his magical drumsticks instead. I had to do some research since I wanted to paint with the colors and rules the Egyptians used (there was a whole color code) and write a hieroglyph meaning really something in old Egyptian. The inscriptions you see behind him mean something like: “Blessed by giving life”- That was exactly what I’ve felt he was doing: giving life to a noble art form.


From the MMM Quartet, here´s the drawing of Urs Leimgruber from light blue to his shades of effervescent black. I also drew Alvin Curran but decided not to publish this drawing, maybe some other time. Loved his playing and electronics.

From Massacre concert I drew Charles Hayward and Bill Laswell.

Pictured Charles Hayward space traveling in a science fiction story. His drum plates were galaxies he had to conquer with his bright sight.

Bill Laswell was the connection rope between this trio. This guy has done it all, dub, hip hop, drum ‘n bass, jazz-grindcore, experimental music… He was the air relating a world of water and fire. I could elect him as one of my idols of this festival edition.


My image was Marco Barroso’s profile being perceived by the sound and the light of the brass instruments. How can someone combine heavy metal, groovy beats, folk and experimental music? Ask Master Marco. He’ll sure find a way to amuse you mean time.  There wasn’t a moment where I had no fun in this concert. Great ending.
Was really happy to draw José Menezes, Miguel Amado and Gonçalo Marques. Three musicians on the road for quite a while which I wanted to draw long time ago.

Simple and clean, this one is the saxophone player José Menezes.

And this one is Miguel Amado. The bass grooves where the lowest but Miguel was the tallest of them all. I wanted to to a portrait of him with a boomerang shape movement.

I saw Gonçalo Marques’s coming out of his trumpet, ear shaped in a cloud. I used just pencil which I have very rarely done before.

I also drew Nuno Martins who is a photographer of Jazz.pt. Part of the festival too :)

I was so proud of my Portuguese friends who played at this festival. Big up to Luís Lopes and Marco Barroso. 

As usual these days were super intense with an overflow of new music. It is sure one great reason to visit or stay in Lisbon in these period.

Thank you Jazz.pt team and Gulbenkian team for trusting my work.

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