Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, founded in 1999 with the support of the Matosinhos City Council, is an permanent workspace. Without overlooking the tradition of the great big bands, OJM promotes the creation, research, education and public awareness in the area of Jazz, intertwining international ambition with local community responsibility.
Fulfilling the role of a national jazz orchestra, OJM presents repertoires of all aesthetic tendencies and epochs. OJM envisions itself as an inclusive forum of composers and musicians, throwing bridges, establishing partnerships and producing a national big band repertoire that is contemporary, versatile and diverse.
Directed by Pedro Guedes and Carlos Azevedo, OJM has collaborated with such diverse artists as: Maria Schneider, Carla Bley, Lee Konitz, John Hollenbeck, Jim McNeely, Kurt Rosenwinkel, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Carlos Bica, Ingrid Jensen, Bob Berg, Conrad Herwig, Mark Turner, Rich Perry, Steve Swallow, Gary Valente, Dieter Glawischnig, Stephan Ashbury, Chris Cheek, Ohad Talmor, Joshua Redman, Andy Sheppard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Maria Rita, Maria João, Mayra Andrade and Manuela Azevedo among many others.
OJM performs regularly in the country’s main venues and also in Barcelona, Brussels, Milan, New York, Boston and Marseille. It was the first jazz ensemble to perform in a North-American Jazz festival (JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, in 2007). Additionally, it participated in the Boston Beantown Jazz Festival and for several years it has been appearing in New York Jazz clubs, among which are Birdland, Jazz Standard, Jazz Gallery and Iridium. In 2015 was once again part of the Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival, having already for 2016 scheduled performances at the New York Blue Note and the Vienna Konzerthaus, where it will present Our Secret World with Kurt Rosenwinkel.
OJM’s discography emerged for the first time in 2006 and it is the outcome of very solid collaborations. After Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos Invites: Chris Cheek (Fresh Sound New Talent), came Portology (Omnitone), with Lee Konitz as composer and main soloist. The collaboration with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel resulted in the recording of Our Secret World (WomMusic, 2010), released in USA and Portugal. In 2011 the album, Amoras e Framboesas (Universal Music) with singer Maria João was released and in 2013 came Bela Senão Sem (TOAP), with arrangements on the music by pianist João Paulo Esteves da Silva. In 2014 the album Jazz Composers Forum: today’s European-American big band writing (TOAP) was released. This album was the result of recording the commissions made to eight composers - four Americans and four Europeans - for a cycle of concerts under the same name.
Since 2010 OJM is also developing a project destined to establish a center for advanced artistic performance (CARA) in Matosinhos, promoting the dialogue between art, science and technology. This will be achieved through multidisciplinary projects that aim to explore and develop solutions for creation, fruition and dissemination of creative contents.