Raul de Souza Day

August 23, 1934 -– June 13, 2021

A tribute to the soulful Brazilian jazz trombonist

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Trombonist Raul de Souza passed away on June 13, 2021, at the age of 86.

He was born on João Jose Pereira de Souza on Aug. 23, 1934, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and started playing trombone as a teenager.

He made his recording debut in 1957 with the nonet Turma da Gafieira and worked with Sergio Mendes’ Bossa Rio in the 1960s.

De Souza gained his greatest fame in the 1970s when he worked in the United States with Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Milton Nascimento, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Cal Tjader, Jaco Pastorius, and George Duke.

The trombonist’s own recordings during the era were generally funk-oriented sessions that were strongly influenced by Brazilian music.

De Souza spent his later years living in France where he led Raul de Souza Generations Band and stayed active until near the end.

Here is Raul de Souza performing “Ela é Carioca” in a sextet with saxophonist Hector Costita, pianist Fabio Torres, guitarist Mario Conde, bassist Glauco Solter, and drummer Serginho Machado.

-Scott Yanow


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