Carlos Martins, born 1961 in Alentejo/Portugal, is a saxophonist, jazz musician and composer.
He is known for his artistic works, compositions and collaborations in contemporary music, jazz and world music, both in Portugal and abroad as well as his conceptual works as artistic director and producer.
Carlos Martins studied contemporary music, composition and saxophone in Lisbon, Barcelona and New York. He was teaching at the Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa as well as the Jazz School Hot Clube de Portugal in Lisbon and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
He founded some of the most important Portuguese jazz groups and performed at a number of national and international festivals. He looks back on numerous collaborations with both Portuguese artists from different disciplines as well as international acclaimed artists such as Bernardo Sassetti, Cindy Blackman and George Garzone.
He released 7 albums of his own music as band leader, some of them awarded as the best national jazz records in Portugal and appeared on plenty of others as musician.
Apart from his own compositions, he composed for films, theatre plays and dance and has contributed to a number of interdisciplinary projects.
His saxophone sound indicates references to American jazz legends like John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins and European jazz musicians like Jan Garbarek, but his music is deeply rooted in the Mediterranean and lusophone music culture. His style is influenced by different elements ranging from Mediterranean music and Portuguese traditional music like Fado or Canto Alentejano to musical traditions from other lusophone areas like Brasil, Cabo Verde or Mozambique.