JAVIER ALCÁNTARA BIOGRAPHY
Javier Alcántara is one of the most prominent guitar players of his generation.
He got his degree from the Universidade de Évora, where he studied Music, Improvisation and Jazz Guitar. The first music school he went to was the IMT – Instituto de Música y Tecnología, where he had Chema Vílchez and José Manuel Lorenzo as mentors. After that, in 1996, he attended the “L’AULA de música moderna y Jazz – Conservatori del Liceu” to proceed his musical studies with Aníbal Martínez and Dani Pérez.
In 1997 he flies to New York City to take private classes with Jonathan Kreisberg, Peter Bernstein, Lionel Loueke, Mike Moreno, Lange Lund, and Aaron Goldberg. He also has the opportunity to attend workshops oriented by Ravi Coltrane, Steve Coleman, and Don Byron at the “School for Improvisational Music”.
After his studies, he goes to Lisbon, Portugal, to record “Namouche” with the band Special Quartet. This would be Javier’s first album as a guitarist and also as a co-producer. In “Namouche” – all songs in this record are original compositions – we can find such prestigious musicians such as Perico Sambeat, Alexis Cuadrado and Hugo Alves. This band – Special Quartet – was nominated for the “Best Band/Artist” award and the record “Namouche” was also nominated for the “Best Album” award on the occasion of the “II Gala de los Premios de la Música Extremeña Sonora” that took place at the Gran Teatro de Cáceres. After two years of its release Javier kept promoting this record, and doing also colaborations with other bands as a sideman all over Spain.
In July 2014 is released his second record – “Short Stories” – and the first as a leader, receiving so many positive reactions from the general public, and very good reviews from some music critics. The album “Short Stories” has eleven original tracks, and the musicians on the record are Narciso González (tenor and soprano saxophones), Diogo Santos (piano, keybords and melodica), André Ferreira (doublebass) and André Mota (drums). André Fernandes, a well know Portuguese guitar player, features the band in one song called “Duende de Luz”. “Short Stories” also got positive reactions from fellow musicians such as Perico Sambeat: “I know Javier for some years and he is a very sensitive musician and a truly enthusiast, responsible for bringing jazz to his region. This record is a reflection of his great talent; beautiful music played by great musicians”. Joaquín Chacón also stated that this is a “praised work of composition and arrangements that can be either solidly rhytmical or lyrically sutil.”
“Short Stories” kept getting incredible reviews and one of the tracks – “Duende de Luz” – was elected by the prestigious online jazz platform “All About Jazz “ as one of the best tracks of 2014, and was at the same time one of the most downloaded songs of the last twenty years with more than 20.000 downloads.
Javier and “Short Stories Group” were able to tour around Portugal and Spain, for more than seventy concerts. In July 2015 the band played at the III Concurso ‘Portón del Jazz’ competition. This particular concert was also an opening act for Marcus Miller and his band, which played there that night. “Short Stories Group” received so many good comments. They won the first prize at this competition.
Javier Alcántara has played with many musicians such as Arturo Serra, Celia Mur, Ari Hoenig, Phil Abraham, Hugo Alves, Hugo Antunes, Mario Raja, Claudio Corvini, Marco Tamborín, Mili Vizcaíno, Narciso González, André Fernendes, Alexis Cuadrado, Pedro Cortejosa, Perico Sambeat, Bruno Pedroso, Nelson Cascais, and Demian Cabaud in many projects.
He also teaches in many workshops and music classes in Spain and outside his home land. His main subjects are guitar, basics of jazz, ensembles classes, modern harmony and music therapy.
In 2016 Javier Alcántara will release new records with “Short Stories Group” and also with a trio, surronded by internationally acclaimed musicians.
JAVIER ALCÁNTARA “SHORT STORIES GROUP”, winner of the III CONCURSO INTERNACIONAL ‘PORTÓN DEL JAZZ’.