"Not an improviser of unrepeatable moments, but a builder of unstable worlds."
Fernando Magalhães, Público
Formed by Miguel in 1986 after his split from (his first directing gig) Moeda Noise, Sei Miguel
has been quietly transforming Jazz with his unique approach, redefining notions of musical achievement in his own terms for two decades. Miguel’s rigorous approach and ascetic commitment to acoustic exploration and precision has resulted in innovative developments in his approach to sound and performance.
Sei Miguel has performed in Portugal, Germany, Italy and Brazil, with variety of guests and collaborators appearing around a mutable core. Jazz guitarist Joe Morris
has been a featured guest in a number of performances in recent years, and Rafael Toral
has been a frequent collaborator, appearing on Miguel’s last album, and in joint performances and recordings.
Director, arranger and trumpeter Sei Miguel was born in Paris in 1961 and lived in Brazil and France until settling in Portugal in the 80s. He has written music for theatre and ballet, and has been conscientiously developing his unique re-working of Jazz in relative obscurity for 20 years. Though he has been acclaimed as one of the greatest living Jazz trumpeters, he remains relatively unknown even in his home country Portugal.
Other regular collaborators include Manuel Mota
, electric guitar, and Margarida Garcia
, electric doublebass. The core members of the Sei Miguel Quartet are Fala Mariam
(trombone), César Burago
(percussion) and Pedro Lourenço (bass).
was born in Lisbon. After uninspiring academic training, she discovered the spiritual side of music during a trip to Northern India in the 1980s, which led to her appreciation of Jazz. She has played with Miguel since 1983, collaborating on all his works.
Contemporary Jazz percussionist César Burago
, from Angola, is a regular presence in Miguel’s projects; they have worked together since 1997 developing plans for ‘metric possibilities and impossibilities…expressed in music where percussion (mainly the small percussion) gains an enigmatic melodic value.’ Cesar has been described as a "discreet virtuoso" mostly for his precision with silence timings.
was born in Lisbon in the mid 1970's. He studied trumpet, played percussion, guitar and electronics in various groups and contexts and in the late 1990's started to work with computer programming to create electronic music. He played and recorded with the laptop collective [des]integração
and since 2002 collaborates with Sei Miguel. Recently he shifted towards a more Jazz-oriented level of musicianship, playing electric bass.
Miguel’s most recent release is the critically acclaimed The Tone Gardens
(2006) on the Portuguese experimental label Creative Sources. It is a three-movement suite of one studio and two live pieces performed by Sei Miguel, Fala Mariam, César Burago and Rafael Toral.
The pieces mix tonal trumpet and trombone work with chirping, ringing and scratching electronics and percussion – modern micro-improvisation in an electro-acoustic setting; a highly developed exploration of acoustic space.
Miguel released several CDs in the 90s including The Portuguese Man of War
, followed by Showtime
(Fábrica de Sons, 1996), and Token
(Ananana, 1999), plus two others so far in the 00s: Still Alive in Bairro Alto
(2001) and Ra Clock
(2003) on the Lisbon based improv label Headlights.
At their club transmediale appearance, the Sei Miguel Quartet and Rafael Toral play "Garden : Space : Beyond", a concert in 3 parts. The first part is meant to evoke the "Tone Gardens" (refering to the album of the same name). The second evokes "Space" (refering to Rafael Toral's solo work as documented in his recent Staubgold release Space
). The third points to future developments.
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