Since its opening in 1985, the venue has been a major presence on the jazz scene in the region, welcoming famous national and international artists
– August 18, 2023
Manoel’s Jazz Club, the iconic jazz venue which local musician Manuel Guerreiro opened in Monte Carvoeiro in 1985, officially reopened earlier this summer under the management of French couple Sabrina and Thomas Bourhis.
The special occasion was celebrated with a performance by Carvoeiro’s famous percussionist and singer Beto Kalulu alongside his band featuring Joaquim Brandão (bass), Tomé Rocha (drums) and Marcos Vita (keyboard), as well as a special appearance by Enzo d’Aversa (piano).
The jazz club is located below Manoel’s Restaurant and Bar, which is open every day from 5pm onwards, serving dinners and cocktails inside the restaurant, at its outdoor terrace and on its rooftop with a view of the sea.
Sabrina and Thomas are well aware of the deep-seated history of the venue, which for decades welcomed nationally and internationally famous jazz musicians, which is why they have decided to maintain its name and a similar theme.
Their goal is to offer live music every night at 10pm and welcome a wide range of musicians from several genres, not exclusively jazz.
But how did the couple end up taking over one of the Algarve’s best-known jazz venues?
“We have been holidaying in the Algarve for several years and had been planning to move out of France, even before the pandemic,” said Sabrina and Thomas, adding that they visited several towns in the region until their travels led them to Monte Carvoeiro, on the western hill of Carvoeiro.
The couple have around 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, having run a beach bar back in France, and decided to bite the bullet and start a new life in Portugal by reviving the iconic venue.
“Manuel was a true friend”
Beto Kalulu has been playing an important role in Sabrina and Thomas’ new adventure, helping the couple grasp the history of the venue and also acting as a link to the local community of musicians.
He was a very close friend of Manuel Guerreiro, the talented saxophonist who played a pivotal role in the Algarve’s jazz scene by opening Caldeirão, his first jazz club, in Ferragudo in 1975.
“I opened Caldeirão for my friends; I didn’t do it for commercial purposes,” Manuel Guerreiro is quoted as saying in a pamphlet promoting an exhibition honouring him at Portimão Museum, which can be visited until September 3.
Caldeirão stayed open until 1985, when Manuel Guerreiro was invited by Monte Carvoeiro developer Klaus Müller to open a new jazz club at the resort.
Manoel’s Jazz Club became the place to play for jazz musicians, with jam sessions galore and a long list of acclaimed musicians from all over the globe performing at the venue.
Manuel Guerreiro, who passed away in 2005, also played a key role in helping musicians from ‘Aldeia de Almansor’, a multicultural community of artists who lived in makeshift homes at an abandoned half-built hotel site, until they had to abandon the area when construction resumed (to build the Almansor hotel; now Tivoli Carvoeiro).
“Manuel was very important for the local musicians in Carvoeiro. He was the one who booked concerts for us, and many times would give up his cut of the performance fee in order to help us,” Beto Kalulu told us.
It was this very “mentality of collaboration” that was later replicated at Manoel’s Jazz Club, with musicians often turning up to perform simply for the fun of it.
Article originally published by Michael Bruxo on Portugal Resident.