Considered to be one of the most innovative violists of his generation, José Valente continues to develop an intense musical activity defined by the irreverence, contemporaneity and virtuosity of his playing and composing. Since his return from New York, the awarded violist has been exploring the limits of his instrument through the symbiosis of diverse musical styles, rarely associated with the traditional repertoire for viola, establishing consequently a unique musical voice.
José Valente has a PhD in Contemporary Art received with unanimous distinction by the University of Coimbra. He was awarded with an Honourably Mention at Composition Award Lopes-Graça 2009; winner of the Artistic project competition Serralves em Festa 2010; he was a New Talent Fnac 2014; received The Hannah S. and Samuel A. Cohn Memorial Foundation Endowed Fellowship, after his artistic residency at the Djerassi Residency Artists Program, in California, USA; WINNER of the Carlos Paredes Award 2019 with his album Serpente Infinita.
He has worked with, among others, Grammy award winner Paquito d'Rivera, Joshua Redman, Dave Douglas, Hank Roberts, Don Byron, classical Indian music masters Shakir Kahn, Vikas Tripathi, Galician awarded pianist Alberto Conde, Jason Kao Hwang, Daniel Levin. He was a founding member of the ACIES String Quartet, member of the HUMAN EVOLUTION project, and creator of the international collective/band EXPERIENCES OF TODAY (EOT) with who he performed in many festivals and recorded an album. He is also founding member of the string duo VALENTE MAIO, with violinist Manuel Maio, initially produced by d’Orfeu.
He usually collaborates in several multidisciplinary projects with various artists from the Portuguese art contemporary scene such as: Marta Bernardes, Paulo Mendes, António Olaio, Mafalda Deville, Israel Pimenta, Pedro Bandeira.
Significant concerts as a guest soloist or playing his music: invited by Paquito d’Rivera to be soloist at Carnegie Hall; received a scholarship to perform at the International Workshop for Improvised and Creative Music in Banff, Canada; Dizzys Club at Lincoln Center; 16ª Bienal de Cerveira; Jazz no Parque – Serralves Foundation; International Jazz Encounters of Coimbra; Paredes de Coura Festival; Imaxinasons Festival; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Teatro Maria Matos; Teatro Campo Alegre; Union Square Park (SOLO Concert); Rauf R. Denktas Cultur and Congress Center in Famagusta; Dance House Nicosia; Festival IKFEM; Noble Salon of the Clérigos Tower; O Gesto Orelhudo Festival; Festival TREMOR; Bookaroo Festival (India); JKK (India); Casa da Música; Festival Realizar:poesia; Festival Bons Sons; Suoni Mobile (Italy); Auditório Lopes-Graça; etc.
José Valente studied classical viola at the Kärtner Landes Konservatorium in Austria and jazz at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, finishing both degrees with the highest grade and honors.
His first SOLO album Os Pássaros estão estragados (2015) was listed record of the year by critic Rui Eduardo Paes.
Most relevant composition commissions: Sonata for Viola and Empty Cube curated by João Silvério; Amarelo Schwartz for the Círculo de Artes Plásticas of Coimbra; Ninguém é Original for the International Centre José de Guimarães; Sagrado soundtrack for Ruptura Silenciosa; Unconnected soundtrack for Mafalda Deville’s dance show; Coimbra Reinventada for the student orchestra of the university of Coimbra; Passaporte for viola solo was commissioned by Antena2/RTP for the 32nd Edition of Prémio Jovens Músicos award; Embalo para Bernardo, dedicated to Bernardo Sassetti, for the album The Wake of an Artist by Alberto Conde Iberian Roots Trio, released by Clean Feed records.
José Valente’s last album Serpente Infinita was commissioned by Musibéria – Centre for Music and Dance of the Iberian World. It was released at the end of 2018 and it received 5/5 starts by jazz.pt magazine, was listed record of the year by the same magazine and by critics Rui Eduardo Paes and João Esteves da Silva (jazz.pt), João Almeida and António Branco (a forma do jazz). After its premiere at Casa da Música, Serpente Infinita is being performed in various national and international halls.
José Valente plays a viola by Alceste Bulfari. After his mother’s suggestion he decided to call his instrument Presença (presence).