Álvaro Correia Pinto


Age: 21 years old

Country: Portugal

Having violin teachers as parents, he had contact with classical music from an early age. At the age of seven, he got into the Music School of Nossa Senhora do Cabo in Lisbon and started there my classical studies playing the saxophone with Raimundo Semedo. When he was nine, he enrolled in the Hot Club of Portugal, where he had his first contact with jazz. He started to learn how to improvise and how to play in a group, where communication is the key. Firstly, he started my lessons with César Cardoso but later, he changed to Ricardo Toscano. Three years later, he was chosen by the Hot Club of Portugal to go on a visit to Japan and to participate in International Youth Jazz Camp in Sapporo, with his teachers Gonçalo Marques e Margarida Campelo. It was a very enriching experience because, for the first time in his life, he had the possibility to play with foreign musicians and, even though I did not speak English well at the time, I realized that the real language is music.

He chose to follow music in his last three years of high school, so the number of subjects related to music increased. He started to have Improvisation, composition analysis and techniques, sound technologies, music history, ear training, and musical training. He ended up increasing my musical knowledge and improving my technique. In his final year of high school, his took private lessons with José Menezes before applying for the bachelor’s degree. He was able to get 19/20 on both classical saxophones in high school and jazz saxophone at Hot Club of Portugal.

When he was 15 years old, he had my first recording studio experience playing tenor saxophone, although the alto saxophone was and still is his main instrument. He played in this studio session with a Portuguese youth Big Band, giving rise to the CD “Big Band Júnior Abraça Sassetti”, which was a tribute to Bernardo Sassetti, one of the most important and influential jazz musicians in Portugal.

At the age of 17, he went after my dream and my passion and enrolled in Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, where he started his bachelor’s degree in saxophone jazz. In his first two years, he had classes with Pedro Moreira and now he is taking classes with Desidério Lázaro. In these last few years, he was able to research and study deeper than before, and to improve my improvisation and my musicality a lot. I ended my first two years with 19/20.

Since he started studying jazz, he have had several masterclasses with very prestigious musicians such as George Coleman, Perico Sambeat, Joe Lovano, David Binney, Aaron Parks, and some other Portuguese musicians. He recently also had a private lesson with John O’Gallangher, which turned out to be one of the best. He gave him several exercises and tips that he feels helped him a lot.

He have had some concerts playing with his own groups in some bars and cafes but the most significant concerts for him were the ones he had the privilege of playing with my own teachers like Pedro Moreira, in Carlos Azevedo Decateto, and Gonçalo Marques in the professional Hot Club’s Big Band. He also had the privilege of playing in a Big Band with Queen Esther Marrow

He recently had the opportunity to participate in Begues Jazz Camp, where he was able to work with some great musicians such as Jesse Davis, Jordi Rossy, Roger Mas, Felix Moseholm, and Jaume Llombart. He had the opportunity of playing with incredible musicians and he was able to learn and improve a lot. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience for him.

He recently had the privilege to visit New York and play in a jam session at a small jazz club with some incredible musicians, an experience he will never forget.

In December 2022, he participated and represented the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa in a Portuguese jazz school competition, where he won the prize for best musician and best combo.

He is currently in charge of weekly jam sessions in a bar in the center of Lisbon where he takes the opportunity to invite several musicians every week to play with me.

Photo credit: Luís Cochofel