José Canha was born in Setúbal, Portugal. He began as a musician in his late teens, singing lead vocals for various alternative-rock bands. During this time he explored a variety of different musical instruments and grew a strong affinity towards the ones in the lowest register. He had the chance to work with many diverse and talented musicians with a wide spectrum of the most distinct influences providing him an eclectic musical background that helped him develop a growing passion for the Blues and Jazz music.
In 1996, after his army service ended, Canha decided to abandon his earlier academic intentions to commit himself to an in-depth study of his newfound passions: the bass and Black American music. He co-founded the band "Charlie & the BluesCats", a blues band that, among other highlights, supported two B.B. King shows in both Lisbon and Oporto coliseums, featured at jazz festivals in Greece, and performed throughout Portugal.
Although self-taught, José decided to pursue further instruction to help him unlock the most intricate musical complexities he was facing when dealing with jazz and related music. His first electric bass teacher was Yuri Daniel (bassist for Maria João, Jan Garbarek).
Since then he has been invited to collaborate on a variety of projects across genres and styles including Bossa Nova, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Manouche, Rock, Funk and Fado, in ensembles ranging from duets to orchestras and theatre productions sets.
He inevitably progressed towards the double bass. In 2005 he began classical study under Miguel Leiria. He later enrolled at Escola de Jazz do Barreiro becoming a teacher there 3 years later. In 2008 he gets into Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa obtaining a Bachelor (Honours) degree, afterwards a Postgraduate Diploma Degree from Universidade de Évora and is now attending the London College of Music/University of West London Masters Degree, all studies in Jazz Music performance. Before moving to the UK his work was mainly focused on popular music and world music fusion working closely with the pianist and composer Valter Rolo.
Now in the UK he has been working as a jazz double bassist accompanying various artists from the London, Essex and Suffolk Jazz scene, humbly privileged for sharing the stage backing artists like: Frank Weatherley, Nigel Price, Jim Mullen, Chris Allard, Quentin Collins, Andy Watson, Simon Hurley, Simon Spillett, Julian Stringle, Art Themen, Roberto Manzin, Kevin Flanagan, Geof Warren, Tim Boniface, Paul Higgs, Raul D'Oliveira, Dan Banks, Simon Brown, Chris Ingham, Kevin Fitzsimmons, Anita Wardell, Sara Dowling, Polly Gibbons, Catherine Lima, Jacqui Hicks, Joanna Eden, George Double, Trevor Taylor, et al.