Vicente Magalhães is a pianist, saxophonist and composer born in Lisboa, Portugal and currently living in Leeds, United Kingdom. As a player he likes to explore various styles, from trad jazz to fusion, rock and funk, with a heavy base of straight ahead. As a composer he delves into the history of traditional Portuguese folk music and combines it with his jazz playing, writing pieces that pay tribute and celebrate his country’s music.
By the age of seven Vicente started playing piano and immediately decided he wanted to be a musician. He discovered jazz after one of his teachers showed a recording of Hiromi Uehara and was shocked at how someone could improvise with such virtuosity. From then on Vicente came across all of the jazz greats, one after the other, and began improvising on the piano. After graduating from Colégio Moderno, Lisboa, at age 18, Vicente went to University of York, where he took a somewhat risky decision to spend less time playing Classical music and do his degree as a jazz pianist. He had lessons from some of the greatest musicians on the British jazz scene, including Dan Whieldon, Julian Argüelles, Steve Watts and Nikki Iles. After finishing his BA, he did a Postgraduate Diploma, also at the University of York, taught by Jonathan Eato, which he finished with Distinction.
Some of Vicente’s proudest moments as a musician include leading the University of York Big Band, which he took on tour to Portugal, writing, arranging and playing for the UoY Jazz Orchestra, led at the time by the great John Warren, recording some of his music at Abbey Road studios and being one of the first musicians in Manchester Jazz Festival’s talent development programme, Hothouse.
Currently Vicente works with his trio, with which he plays his original music. He also plays piano for Raquel Álvaro’s NVACRVA project, The Glass Cage Experiment, led by Juan Nicolás Téllez and plays tenor saxophone with the band Grinny Grandad. He also plays multiple jazz standards and function gigs and various musicians in the York and Leeds music scene.