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Carlos Zingaro

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Since the late 1970s, violinist Carlos "Zingaro" Alves has worked with many of the top improvisers and composers of his time. Born in Portugal, Zingaro studied classical music at his hometown of Lisbon's Music Conservatory from the age of five, until 1965. He was a member of the Lisbon University Chamber Orchestra during the '60s, and in the latter half of the decade formed Plexus, which was the only Portuguese new music group around. Plexus drew from contemporary classical, rock and improvisation, and recorded a single for RCA Victor. During this time, Zingaro also studied church organ. After completing his Stage Design studies at Lisbon Theater High School (where he later served on the board of directors), he became heavily involved in scoring and performing music for theater productions. Zingaro began working with a number of leading improvisers from the mid-'70s on. In addition to these collaborations, from 1974 to 1980 he served as music director for Lisbon-based theater group Comicos. Zingaro also helped found an art gallery of the same name during this time. In 1979, he received a Fulbright Grant and was invited to come to Woodstock, NY and participate in the Creative Music Foundation. Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Tom Cora and Richard Teitelbaum (who became a regular collaborator) are some of the artists Zingaro worked with while there. His involvement with the theater continued as he received the Portuguese Critics Award for best theater music (1981), worked with Italian theater director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti on his Kafka Trilogy (1988), and worked as stage and costume designer for other productions. Zingaro has also produced several film scores, and collaborated with dance companies including the Gulbenkian dance company and Opera de Geneve D.C. He has performed at new and improvised music festivals in Europe, Asia and North America. The '90s found Zingaro performing on many recordings including his regular collaborations with Richard Teitelbaum; recording with bassist Joëlle Léandre for the In Situ and Musicworks labels; his work with Peter Kowald Ort Ensemble for FMP's 1995 release, Cuts; and Western Front, his duo recording with Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee, that Hatology released in 1996. ~ Joslyn Layne

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Birth Name:

Carlos Alves


1948 in Lisbon, Portugal

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s