Meet Our Community
Moreira Chonguica Mozambique
Moreira Chonguiça is one of Africa’s most in-demand jazz saxophonists, bandleaders and composers, combining a unique sound, technical agility and ingenuity on the alto and soprano saxophones with a deep understanding of the dynamic currents of African music and culture. As a performer, Chonguiça has graced the stages of top venues in his native Mozambique, across Africa and beyond, and has appeared on seven albums as a leader, including 2017’s M&M with late Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango. He is also a committed humanitarian and leading supporter for International Jazz Day in Mozambique since 2018, leading community outreach programs each April with his youth Morejazz Big Band in Maputo hospitals, public venues and local neighborhoods.
“Jazz is a unifying music genre. It has been around for a long time and different generations have different ideas about what they like about the genre. That’s what’s appealing about jazz.”
Why do you celebrate International Jazz Day?
As a jazz musician myself, I love the concept of fellow jazz musicians all over the globe coming together to play on this particular day. I also believe highlighting this day all over the world has helped raise the profile of jazz as a music genre and I am proud that UNESCO has recognised us as an organising partner to help develop this event in Mozambique.
Tell us about a favorite memory from International Jazz Day:
There are many but we celebrate it in Maputo as a family day, when children come with their parents and sit and listen to beautiful jazz sounds performed by young and not-so-young people in one of our beautiful parks. Last year we had weather issues on the the actual day and had to move it a week later, the year before we were worried about wind, but still families came out to enjoy the day.
How do you think jazz can improve people’s lives?
Jazz is a unifying music genre. It has been around for a long time and different generations have different ideas about what they like about the genre. That’s what’s appealing about jazz–it crosses generations. Jazz requires discipline to perform and also to listen. It also engenders respect to the performer and the audience which is a value that is neglected in today’s busy world.