Mozambican saxophonist Moreira Chonguica was born in Maputo,
then moved to Cape Town in 1997. Music was constantly heard
in Moriera's home in Maputo. His father and uncle introduced
him to music: they used to write music for plays where his father
played the guitar and sang and his uncle would play on the double
bass. They listened to musicians like Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango,
Miles Davis, Hugh Masekela, Pable Milanes and many others. Maputo
is a very musical city in which musical events are held every
weekend. As a young boy, his parents used to take Moreira to
Johannesburg to visit his family including his late uncle Lucky
Michaels who owned the famous Pelican jazz club in Soweto, where
all the big jazz cats used to go and play.
When Moreira was 7, he was sent to the National School of Music
in Maputo (Escola Nacional de Musica). He first began singing
in the choir and playing the recorder. A few years later he
swapped to classical clarinet which he played for about 5 years.
Watching one of Miles Davis's last performances in Paris where
he featured the great Kenny Garret inspired Moreira to play
alto sax. Moreira graduated with a degree in Jazz Performance
and an honours degree with distinction in Jazz Performance at
the South African College of Music at University of Cape Town
in 2000. He has performed with bands such as Momba, UCT Jazz
Quintet, Opus the Funk. He has played many of the major jazz
festivals in the world with some of the world's top entertainers:
North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands in 1999 and 2000; International
African Music Festival, Germany in 2002; African Summer Jazz
Festival, Zimbabwe in 2002; Joy of Jazz, South Africa in 2000.
Moreira plays regularly with a number of Cape Town DJ's as well
as with his own electronic duo called
M-Connexxion with Mark Fransman.
Moreira has recently formed an contemporary African fusion jazz,
made up of Cape Town's top jazz musicians. The very nature of
The Moreira Project is that the musicians vary depending on
the nature of the function. In November 2005 he released
19-track debut album The Journey - five tracks feature
Grammy Nominee Najee on flute and soprano sax. The Moriera Project's
second album Citizen of the World (2008) has 18 finely
tuned yet eclectic tracks featuring guests Najee, Manu Dibango
and hip hop artist Simba.
Moreira has a huge affection for the National School of Music
(Escola Nacional de Musica) in Maputo and at the launch of his
album The Journey in Maputo in November 2005, he donated
door takings to the school for its upkeep. He also spends time
persuading businesses to help the school with sponsorship.
In Cape Town Moreira teaches saxophone and life skills to young
aspiring musicians at a community school in Kensington called
a Mozambican who has lived and played all over the world, Moreira
is very excited about the music that Southern Africa produces.
He loves working and playing from Cape Town although he regularly
visits Mozambique to stay in touch and play in the vibrant music
Moreira has performed on many CDs of top South African musicians,
for example Judith Sephuma, Alvin Dyers, Jimmy Dludlu, Loading
Zone, Selaelo Selota, Stewart Sukuma, Mabulu Project (Soul
Marrabenta) and Wanda Baloyi. Keep up with the latest information
at moreiramusic, including
his performances at numerous jazz festivals. For Moreira 2009
got off to a great start with performing at the Sauti za Busara
festival in Zanzibar and then receiving nominations in 3 categories
of the SA Music Awards.