Maria Joao sings for Shakespeare

Once again thanks to ESFN collaboration very special Shakespearian project came to live. Three brilliant musicians gathered together to create unusual programme titled „Songs for Shakespeare”. Premiere performance took place during Gyuila Shakespeare Festival thanks to an effort of its director Josef Gedeon.

„Songs for Shakespeare” were performed on Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival . It will also  be part of artistic program of Festival in Craiova in 2016.

OGRE is a project that mixes jazz, electronic music and other sounds. In OGRE, the amazing voice of singer Maria João joins forces with an essentially electronic and digital instrumental section – João Farinha’s Fender Rhodes and synthesisers and André Nascimento’s laptop and keyboards. OGRE’s new proposal is a combination of contemporary music with classical literature – the band will bring new sounds to the works of William Shakespeare. The sonnets of the great English poet and playwright will be performed with OGRE’s approach to sounds and rhythms.

The band acts free from specific definitions of genres and styles and makes music in the true sense of the word, without aesthetically pre-defined limitations. Jazz is present in all of these musicians’ professional backgrounds. Lusophone and Portuguese music are in their blood and their souls are infused with a great desire to cross borders, mix different influences and aesthetics together. At the heart of it all, we find an unconditional love for music.

Maria João is a jazz singer. Very early in her life, her gifted voice, allied to an instinctive capacity of putting to music her very own and unique style, allowed her to become highly recognised and admired on the Portuguese and international jazz scenes. She collaborated with great names from the most creative jazz area, such as Aki-Takase, Joe Zawinul, Hermeto Pascoal, Ralph Towner or Manu Katche, amongst many others. In the last 15 years, she has been pursuing a brilliant career with pianist Mario Laginha, with whom she has recorded several albums since 1993. In 2007, she launched the album João, with unusual versions from the Traditional Brazilian Songbook.

More information is available on Maria’s website :

Below some photos from amazing performance in Gdańsk by Dawid Linkowski.