Their name means “The Lisbon Bagpipers”, but Gaiteiros de Lisboa do not make pipe music. Well, they do play bagpipes, but that’s only one side of their endless closet of instruments.
In it you’ll find all sorts of percussions, many wind and steel instruments – some of them invented and/or built by themselves – and, above all, voices. All of the six Gaiteiros sing. And boy can they sing!
Gaiteiros de Lisboa have basically dragged folk music kicking and screaming into the 21st century even before the 21st century had begun. Folk music ended up being thankful for it. And, in the process, they have been considered a “Project of Superior Cultural Interest” by the Portuguese Government.
Combined, the six members of Gaiteiros de Lisboa have over half a century of experience in all areas of music. Founder Paulo Marinho came from indie-rock band Sétima Legião, co-founder Carlos Guerreiro had played with the legendary singer-songwriters José Afonso and Sérgio Godinho. Others had been in the political folk ensemble GAC – Vozes na Luta or in the platinum-selling pop band Trovante.
The result of this melting-pot of influences is a band whose take on folk music is closer to artists such as Hedningarna or Kimmo Pohjonen: their enormous respect for, and knowledge of, tradition allows them to take off in unexpected, radical, original directions. They have collaborated with artists as diverse as the highly respected singer-songwriter José Mário Branco or the rising Fado star Ana Moura.
While their albums have consistently been acclaimed as instant classics – and more than once the band received “Album of the Year” awards from the Portuguese press – it’s on stage that Gaiteiros de Lisboa truly shine.
Their live performances are nothing short of epic and have conquered audiences all over the world, and some of their most remarkable performances have taken place in Spain with whom Gaiteiros have a special connection. Their concert at the Sevilla Womex festival is still today spoken of in reverent tones.
Gaiteiros de Lisboa’s current live set is a whirlwind journey through a brief history of folk music from past to future, featuring material from their five studio albums and accompanying a new compilation album of their 20-year career, to be released this October.
“Worth to be proud: Gaiteiros are one of the Top Portuguese bands from the last decade, surely one of the top worldwide”
“up until now the Gaiteiros de Lisboa have proved to be incapable of producing something other than a triumphant master piece”
Gonçalo Frota, in Blitz