From Portugal

  • Roberto Moniz & Roberto Moritz

    Roberto Moritz, born in 1979 in Funchal, began his musical training in 1990 at the Coordinating Office for Artistic Education, in the Traditional Madeiran String Instruments class. Also studied Guitar, Musical Training and Ensemble Class at the Conservatory – Professional School of the Arts of Madeira. Further, obtained a Master’s degree in Music Education from the School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal.
    As a teacher of Madeiran chordophones, he began teaching in 1997 at the Artistic Education Coordinating Office, later called the Artistic Education and Multimedia Services Department. He currently directs this activity in the Free Courses in Arts at the Conservatory – Professional School of the Arts – Luiz Peter Clode. Since 2007, he has been the artistic director of the Si que Brade group, a popular music and instrument group at this institution. During his time as a teacher, he has taught these instruments at the Casas do Povo in Boaventura and also Ponta do Sol, at the Violas de Arame Workshop of the Xarabanda Musical and Cultural Association, and in several workshops for various public audiences.
    As a performer of chordophones and traditional music – mainly the “braguinha”, he contributes to the projects Xarabanda (traditional music), Trio Zargo and Quinteto Drummond de Vasconcelos (19th century music for “machete”), Trigo (Madeiran songbook), Tangedores do Atlântico (different repertoires adapted for chordophones) and Quarteto Moritz (dedicated to creating original pieces), with which he takes part in various national and international tours (Spain, France, Switzerland, Malta, Cyprus, Algeria and Venezuela. He has participated as a soloist (machete) in a series of concerts with the Madeira Classical Orchestra and also with the Gileia Orchestra of the Kherson Philharmonic (Ukraine), performing 19th century repertoire for machete.

    “Roberto” Carlos Freitas “Moniz”, born in Monte, Funchal, on December 20, 1969, has a Master’s Degree in Teaching Music Education in Basic Education.
    He has always been connected to popular Madeiran music, having had experiences in this area, where he began practicing the Madeiran Cordofones, more specifically the machete/braguinha, as well as singing to the challenge; his father António Gouveia Moniz was also a popular musician who played the accordion, Portuguese guitar, viola, viola d’arame, rajão, braguinha and harmonica (concertina) and his mother Maria Luísa Sousa Freitas was the one who gave him the first touches to learn to play the rajão and braguinha.
    At the age of 18, he began his teaching career as an extracurricular teacher of traditional Madeiran chordophones (Machete, Braguinha, Rajão and Viola d’Arame), working for the SRE – Madeira’s Regional Department of Education, through the current DSEAM. Between 1989 and 1995, he led groups of traditional Madeiran chordophones, made up of students from the 1st cycle of school, in the municipalities of Santa Cruz and Câmara de Lobos. With these groups he has taken part in a wide variety of activities organized by SRE/DSEAM – the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, as well as school festivals and festivals and events in the parishes and municipalities mentioned.
    Since 1996 he has been a musician with the “Xarabanda” group, where he plays the following instruments: braguinha, rajão, viola d’arame, viola and voice. With this group he took part in the recording of the following albums: “Sete dúzias de mentiras”; “Cantigas ao Menino Jesus” (1st and 2nd editions); “Quem anda na roda” and “A cantar se contam histórias”.
    He was Artistic Director of the “Si que brade” Group between 2001 and 2007, where he was also responsible for recording the audio CD – “Si que brade …qu’a gente toca”.
    At the Flores de Maio Cultural Group Association – Porto da Cruz, he taught Madeiran chordophones, where he founded and was artistic director of the “Machetinho” group.
    Since September 2007, he has been teaching traditional Madeiran chordophones at the ”Xarabanda” Musical and Cultural Association and in the same association he founded and is artistic director of the groups: (2007) – ”Orquestra de Ponteado”; (2017) – “Varejenta”; (2018) – “Franco & Cordofones”; (2020) – “Rajam” and “Aramisses”.
    At the Associação Grupo de Folclore de Machico, he has been teaching Cordofones Madeirenses since 2013 and was the founder of the “Machetes de Machim” Group, where he is artistic director.
    He is a member of the projects: “Quarteto Moritz”; “Trio Zargo” and “Tangedores do Atlântico” where he plays the instruments Rajão, Viola d’arame and Viola as an accompanist.
    In his Master’s dissertation, he studied the factors of adherence and rejection to traditional Madeiran chordophones, in the context of a 3rd cycle school, entitled: “Instrumental Groupings in the Classroom – Factors of Adherence and Rejection to Traditional Madeiran Chordophones”.
    He taught Music Education in Primary School (2nd and 3rd cycles) between 2007 and 2015, where he also developed the extracurricular activity – Artistic Modality of Madeiran Cordofones.
    He is currently teaching Madeiran chordophones (Machete/Braguinha, Rajão and Viola d’Arame) at the Conservatório Escola Profissional das Artes da Madeira.
    He has some compositions for Madeiran chordophones (Machete, Braguinha, Rajão and Viola d’Arame), essentially for beginners.
    He is the author, in partnership with Ricardo Caldeira, of Caderno de Folclore n.º 1 – “Cordofones Tradicionais Madeirenses – Braguinha, Rajão e Viola de Arame”, published in 2011.
    He has taken part in national and international projects, representing the region of Madeira, where he has promoted Madeiran cordophones, specifically:
    – III Mostra Internacional de Violas de Arame do Brasil (2021);
    – IV Soltura – Festival de Sustenibilidad Y Cultura de Gran Canaria (2024), as part of ” “, a vibrant musical project that connects artists from all over Macaronesia – Madeira, the Azores, the Canaries and Cape Verde.
    He is the Artistic Director of the Madeiran Cordofones Festival – “Machico a Pontear”.
    He is Artistic Director of the Improvised singing Meeting – “A Improvisar é q’a gente s’entede”.
    He has been president of the Xarabanda Musical and Cultural Association since 2024.