Pedro Guedes Music Direction
piano, composition, musical direction
Coming from a strong musical tradition family, Pedro Guedes studied piano with a private teacher between 5 and 9 year old. In the mid-80s he entered the newly created Porto Jazz School, where he studied with Mário Laginha. During this period, he played the piano regularly in bars and other stages and was part of the first group of Porto Jazz Orchestra. He attended Porto’s Music Conservatory with Vitali Dotsenko.
The inexistence of jazz education offer in Portugal lead to him to move to New York in 1992, having been admitted to New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he completed his studies in 1994. During this period he studied with some of the most renowned jazz musicians (Richie Beirach, Fred Hersh, Brad Mehldau, Jim Hall and Joe Chambers, among others).
Back to Portugal, he created the Pedro Guedes Quintet, for which he composed original music and that took him to festivals and clubs from Portugal, Spain and France. In 1995 he became Musical Director of Walt Disney in Portugal and in 1997 he founded and directed Héritage Big Band, orchestra that performed compositions and original arrangements of standards and that later would give origin to Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos.
In 1997 he went back to the USA, entering the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he attended the post-graduated course in Scoring for Motion Picture and Television as fellowship of Luso-American Cultural Commission (Fulbright Commission) and Luso-American Development Foundation. He concluded the post-graduate studies the next year with the International Student Award and the Harry Warren Composition Prize. Between 1998 and 2001 he was programme director of Porto Jazz Festival. He was also coordinator and programme director of the jazz area of Porto 2001 – European Capital of Culture.
In 1999 he founded Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, of which he is currently Artistic Director, Music Director (with Carlos Azevedo), composer, arranger and pianist.
After having taught at Universidade Católica Portuguesa and at the Theatre Department of ESMAE, he was one of the founders of the first jazz degree in Portugal, also at ESMAE. Since then he is a professor in exclusivity of this course which he coordinated between 2002 and 2006.