The New York-native drummer Michael Lauren learned his chops with the best, and his musical career spans several decades: he sweated on Broadway before taking up jazz in the early ’90s. Lauren
dropped his anchor in Portugal a while back, thanks to a teaching job opportunity at the ESMAE (Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo) in Porto that gave him the perfect excuse to move here. Later, Lauren formed the All-Star band with local musicians, for sheer enjoyment at first, and then as a recording act whose first work, Once Upon A Time in Portugal, came out in 2015. The cork-covered album includes “Bonfim Blues,” performed below in a trio, which was inspired by the Bonfim neighborhood in east Porto.
The capital was also a source of inspiration a couple of years later in “Lisboa Boogaloo,” which has a more upbeat Caribbean feel to it.