Ibéria 20|22, an album by guitarist Manuel de Oliveira, won the Carlos Paredes Prize 2023, an initiative of the Vila Franca de Xira City Council.
Established in 2003, the Carlos Paredes Prize aims to pay homage to a relevant name in Portuguese musical culture and to distinguish record works of non-classical instrumental music, particularly of popular roots, that were released in the year before each award of the prize.
For the Carlos Paredes 2023 prize, the jury was made up of the poet José Jorge Letria, a representative of the Vila Franca de Xira City Council, the singer and composer Amélia Muge, Pedro Campos from the Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores and the music critic Rui Filipe Kings.
Quoting the jury, “… suddenly it’s not just Iberia, it’s Iberia as the host entity of a universality” … Iberia 20|22 represents “a process “that already had a first album”, showing the second “the relevance of this person in not just staying on the surface”, who “has been working for 20 years”.
Artists such as Rão Kyao e Carminho (2013), Pedro Caldeira Cabral (2014) Ricardo Ribeiro (2017) have already been distinguished within the scope of the Carlos Paredes Prize.
Ibéria 20/22, is the album that marked not only the 20-year career of this Portuguese musician and composer, but also his first album Ibéria, a project that inaugurated a partnership with the Spanish musicians Jorge Pardo and Carles Benavent, founders of the sextet of Paco de Lucia, and with whom Manuel de Oliveira has maintained a close and very special complicity.
In 2022, the IBÉRIA project also debuted in symphonic format, with a concert that recreates 11 works for the symphony orchestra. The premiere took place at the Guimarães Jazz 2022 edition with the Orquestra de Guimarães and re-edited in Coimbra at the Convento de São Francisco, with the Orquestra Clássica do Centro, in January 2023.
Having recently performed at the “Dias do Jazz” Festival, in Caldas da Rainha, the project will continue touring in 2024, with two more editions with a symphony orchestra planned for Portugal later this year.
It should also be noted that Ibéria 20|22 will take the stage at Casa das Artes de Famalicão on May 4th, in a quintet format.
In Manuel de Oliveira’s music, border, territory, community and identity will always be keywords. If every artist seeks an original way of expressing themselves, in Oliveira music is always an attempt to reconstruct a territory and an identity, the constant search for something always unfinished, like a community or a voice.
In this constant existential metamorphosis, as a guitarist, composer and producer, Manuel de Oliveira has revealed to us, over more than 20 years, a work of singular identity, immediately recognizable in its permanent mutation.
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