Undeniable quality and originality - a work of instrumental excellency that confirms the acute interpretative sense of José Valente. 


Serpente Infinita, from violist (electric and eclectic) José Valente: amazing vanguard work that remembers Ana Hatherly, the great Portuguese modernist poet, calligrapher and visual artist.

Nuno Rogeiro, revista Sábado


Background picture by Joana Magalhães.

Considered one of the most innovative violists and composers 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.

His eclectic musical voice has given him the opportunity to work with many different musicians and styles such as the Acies Streichquartett (founding member), Dave Douglas, Paquito d’Rivera – who invited José to be soloist at the world famous Carnegie Hall – ,Hank Roberts or Don Bryon; the duo Valente Maio (founding member), Carlos Barreto or Lavoisier; with Indian sitar player Shakir Khan and Spanish legendary pianist Alberto Conde. 

José Valente has a PhD in Contemporary Art from the University of Coimbra with distinction by unanimous decision. He has been also deeply involved in multidisciplinary creations such as PuLso (spoken word); the children’s show "Os Figos são para quem passa" premiered and commissioned by São Luiz Theater; the commission and premiere of the "Sonata for Viola and Empty Cube" for the Empty Cube project, curated by João Silvério; or more recently the commission by Fundação EDP/MAAT – Museum for Art Architecture and Technology to compose original music in collaboration with Gonçalo M. Tavares, for an exhibit curated by Paulo Mendes. He composed "Passaporte" for solo viola, commissioned by Antena 2/RTP for the 32nd edition of Prémio Jovens Músicos.

He was awarded with The Hannah S. and Samuel A. Cohn Memorial Foundation Endowed Fellowship 2012; received an honorary mention at the Prémio de Composição Lopes Graça 2009; Serralves em Festa 2010 Creative selection; New Fnac Talent 2014; and the Prémio Carlos Paredes Award 2019 for his album "Serpente Infinita".

José Valente has performed his music in numerous venues worldwide: Festival Imaxinasons (Spain), Festival Tremor, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Teatro Maria Matos, Fundação Serralves, Bookaroo Festival (Dehli, India), Union Square Park (New York), Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center (New York), Suoni Mobile Festival (Italy), Festival Bons Sons, Jazz no Parque Festival, International Jazz Encounters of Coimbra Dance House Nicosia (Cyprus), Rauf R. Denktas Cultur and Congress Center in Famagusta (Cyprus), Festival IKFEM, Casa da Música, among others.

His album "Os Pássaros estão estragados" (Jacc Records, 2015) was considered one of the records of the year by critic Rui Eduardo Paes, and his second album "Serpente Infinita" (Respirar de Ouvido, 2018) received 5/5 stars by jazz.pt magazine, integrating several lists of best albums of 2018.

At this moment José Valente is finishing an unprecedented piece for Viola and Philharmonic Orchestra called “Trégua”. This project was awarded with the GDA’s funding for phonographic edition and with the DGArtes funding for new creations. And he's starting an 6 Violas ensemble to play his arrangements of José Mário Branco’s music.

Since 2001 that José Valente plays with a beautiful Alceste Bulfari's viola. By suggestions of his mother, he calls her (it) "Presença"