Maria João, one of the most respected jazz singers, performed on the 27th in the Municipal Forum Luísa Todi with the Setúbal Youth Ensemble, a group that started in 2014 and have already been noticed inside and outside the country. The show “Everything Starts at Home,” which closed the festival, was directed by Rui Borges Maia.
As it was pointed out by mayor Maria das Dores Meira during the closing dinner at the Setúbal School of Hotel Management and Tourism, this is an event where “through music, many young people find new ways to express themselves, share moments and, at the same time, acquire artistic skills that otherwise would be out of their reach” .
This exhibition of youth participation took place on the 25th at Luísa Todi Avenue, when about five hundred children and young people marched “To The Rhythm of Life,” in an event focused on percussions and already a tradition at the Setúbal Music Festival.
The musical parade started with a mega concert in the Auditorium José Afonso under the theme “Home,” where students from several levels of education and the members of institutions such as Setúbal’s APPACDM, directed by maestro Fernando Molina, explored the rhythms produced by instruments such as voices and little sticks, paint buckets, empty bottles of water, tin cans and pencils.
The Luísa Todi Forum welcomed another group of 250 children from classes of several Primary Schools, offering the show “Our Home” on the 27th, from Project Writings of Songs.
With musical arrangements from Carlos Garcia, who also presented his band, the songs played during the concert were inspired by the typical feelings of departure and arrival invoked by the theme “Home.”
Besides this event and the final concert performed by jazz singer Maria João, on opening day on the 24th, the Luísa Todi Forum was also the stage of “At Home,” starring accordionist Celina da Piedade and featuring musician and songwriter João Gil as guest artist.
Along with these two internationally respected musicians were the Alentejo’s Choir Group Os Amigos do Independente, Setúbal’s Children’s Choir and the percussion group Sant’Iago Olodum.
On the 25th, the city’s main concert hall also hosted “Pátrias,” a classical music concert composed by a repertoire of pieces whose authors derived inspiration from the essences of their homelands.
The Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, the Setúbal Music Festival Camerata and the orchestras from Setúbal’s and Palmela’s conservatories featured at this concert, directed by Nuno Coelho and winner of the 2016 Young Musicians Prize.
German-Egyptian singer and composer Merit Ariane was another relevant name present at this festival’s 8th edition, participating at two events.
On the 25th, the Casa d’Avenida presented “Merit Ariane’s Birdsong,” a band formed by musicians of different nationalities and inspired in the singing of birds, with voices, Korean and Arab flutes, piano and percussion.
In the following morning, they were at the Moinho de Maré da Mourisca for three song sessions related to the migration of birds. This event was called “Ninho” and was also featured by the IncEnsemble, the APPACDM and Setúbal’s Regional Conservatory.
The Bacalhôa’s Palace, another point of interest because of its heritage and surrounding landscapes, also hosted one activity. On the 26th, “Music for a Palace” offered ensembles from Palmela’s Regional Conservatory.
As has been the custom, churches also served as the stage for events aiming to make this festival reach all kinds of audiences, from the different and various parts of the district.
On the 26th, The Church of São Simão, in Azeitão, presented “Inside and Outside the House,” with the Setúbal Music Festival Camerata interpreting dedicated pieces created by Mozart and Luís Tinoco, in a concert directed by Pedro Teixeira and featuring Ana Sofia on the flute.
The Church of São Julião, on the other hand, opened the doors on the 27th to “Come Visit us in Peace,” where the Ricercare Choir, along with the choir and percussion of Setúbal’s Regional Conservatory and the direction of Pedro Teixeira, presented a program composed of sacred works from some of the most relevant present-day songwriters.
Also the Convent of São Paulo, a piece of heritage that recently underwent requalification works, was part of this festival’s itinerary, hosting “Setúbal Invites” on the 25th, an artistic event performed by the Luísa Todi Music and Fine Arts Academy, the theatre group Nunca É Tarde Para Sonhar, singer Patrícia Rosa and accordion player Nicole Viviana.
The music took to the streets through different initiatives, such as “From House To House,” carried out on the 26th in downtown squares, with the performance of groups representing Setúbal’s immigrant communities.
Music’s health benefits were also highlighted during the two meetings between Portuguese and foreign specialists, which happened at Setúbal’s Polytechnic Institute and at Casa d’Avenida.
Casa d’Avenida also hosted the exhibitions “Home” with the construction of environments, paintings and drawings carried out by Graça Pinto Basto, as well as texts penned by this artist and by Maria João Frade, and “Posters for a Festival,” with suggestions for promotional images from the students of D. João II Secondary School.
During the opening of the exhibition, the pieces created by young songwriters from Setúbal’s Regional Conservatory were played by the Music Festival Camerata.