Pedro Costa

Pedro Costa started to show his love for music when he started to buy LP’s and 45’s by 1978 when he was 9 years old by the influence of his brother Carlos. After finishing high school, in 1988, he had no doubts that his future was in music. So, his first curating happened that same year when he worked hard on a Rock festival that never happened, what a way to start !

In 1989 his dream come true when he started working in a record store (Loja da Musica) where he stayed for two years until he was called for the mandatory army.

Immediately after he came out of the army, he started working for  a distributor carrying mostly Jazz and World Music. Six months later he was back to a record store in Lisbon where he stayed until 1992.

Then, along with his brother Carlos, he started his own record store called “Musikametro”, a project that lasted for two years and in 1994 he went back to Loja da Musica for a new mega store that opened downtown Lisbon. There he was the manager for the jazz department and a bit later he was managing the entire store.

In 1998 he got an invitation to manage the jazz section of the first Fnac store in Lisbon where he stayed for nearly 2 years. After that he managed the jazz departments of the 28 stores of mega chain Valentim de Carvalho all over country.

It was during this period that he started curating in the fields of jazz and improvised music, starting in 2000 with the LX Meskla Festival with artists and bands as Slang, Frederic Galliano, Sei Miguel, Lisbon Improvisation Players and Lee Perry (first time in Portugal).

By the end of 2001 he started to work exclusively in his recently founded Trem Azul company and his label Clean Feed.

By then another Pedro also curated another big festival, Multi Musicas with Rokia Traore, Mahotella Queens, Gladiators, Dixie Peppers, Klezmatics and Istambul Oriental Ensemble.

From then on Pedro curated an extensive list of festivals and concerts as Jazz ao Centro (Coimbra) since 2003 to 2012 (over 120 Jazz concerts), Jazz ás Quintas at the CCB – Belem Cultural Center (about 20 concerts every year from 2007 to 2012), colaborating with its bigger festival at CCB “Os Dias da Música” with many artists since 2008.

Since 2008 he has been curating a series called “Isto é Jazz?” (Is This Jazz?) at Culturgest in Lisbon showing the multiple faces of improvised music through artists as Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Sidsel Endresen, BassDrumBone, DJ Olive, Ken Vandermark, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Nate Wooley/Paul Lytton, Joe Morris/Barre Phillips, Sten Sandell Trio, Michaël Attias Quintet, The Fish, Satoko Fujii, William Parker, Lotte Anker, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, and Portuguese artists as Sei Miguel, Carlos “Zíngaro”, Nuno Rebelo among many others.

In 2014, also at Culturgest, Pedro has curated six concerts a year dedicated to Portuguese mainstream Jazz in a series called “Jazz+351”.

He regularly presents concerts at the best venues in Portugal as Casa da Musica and also curates the Seixal Jazz Clube (since 2006) and Festival (in 2012) just near Lisbon in programmes that include many international and local artists always showing the new ways of jazz and improvised music, alongside the celebrated Portalegre JazzFest since 2011 where he has presented artists such as Bernardo Sassetti, Jonas Kullhammar Quartet, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Daniel Levin Quartet, Scott Fields, Harris Eisenstadt, Ellery Eskelin, Carlos Bica and LAMA and many others.

Internationally, Pedro has been involved in the oldest jazz festival in Europe, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, since 2011 where him and Bogdan Benigar co-curate the program.

Clean Feed fests or Clean Feed nights have also been staged in many different cities for some time, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Oslo, Madrid, Barcelona, Cologne, Paris, Northsea Jazz Festival, etc.

Parallel to this, Clean Feed records is attracting international acclaim as one of the most compelling labels in the world today, voted many times as the best Jazz Label on All About Jazz, nominated 4 times for the best label in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 at the Jazz Journalists Association and releasing over 450 records during an intense 16-year activity. Many of its releases are voted every year in best of the year lists in magazines and websites all over the globe such as Downbeat, Jazz Magazine, Impro Jazz Magazine, Signal to Noise, The Wire, Jazz Times, Village Voice, New York Times, Point of Departure, El Intruso among many others.

Also, Pedro has presented several Radio shows between 1998 to 2001, and written for many newspapers and Magazines including the leading newspaper Público. He was the editor of the first (and only) two Jazz magazines in Portugal (“All Jazz” and “Jazz.pt”).

As a curator and producer he has been interviewed in most of the national TV channels and Radios in Portugal and Slovenia, but also in other countries as Spain (El Pais), USA (Downbeat, WKCR radio, All About Jazz), France (JazzMag) and Italy.