João Jose Pereira de Souza, known as Raul de Souza, is a legendary trombone player with 60 years of a wide international career. He was born on the 23rd of August 1934 in Rio de Janeiro.
Between 1951 and 1952, Raul got the chance to play with Pixinguinha and Agostinho dos Santos. Soon after, Ary Barroso helped him launch his career when he renamed him “Raulzinho” on Radio Tupi (Rio de Janeiro). In 1955, Raul recorded Turma da Gafieira, the first instrumental album of Brazilian music history, along with Sivuca, Altamiro Carrilho, Baden Powell and Edison Machado, among others. In the 1970s, Raul secured his international career by recording albums in the United States with famous artists such as Sergion Mendes, Airto Moreira, Sonny Rollins, George Duke, Freddie Hubbard and Cannonball Adderley.
Also, his 1974 album Colors is now a topic of study at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. Often described as one of the best trombonists of all times in many magazines such as DownBeat and Billboard, Raul de Souza has become an international figure, considered a virtuoso with a recognizable Brazilian phrasing and a typical carioca way of swinging that he acquired by playing gigs at the gafieras (dance halls) in Rio de Janeiro. After he decided to leave the American major record labels that did not support his musical eclecticism, Raul went back to Brazil and recorded with Tom Jobim, Zimbo Trio, Paulo Moura, Milton Nascimento, Djavan, Maria Bethânia, Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti, among others.
Sharing his time between Brazil and France, he continued producing music and experimenting different musical styles and instruments. After 60 years of career, Raul de Souza – a pioneer in Brazilian instrumental music – still delights his audience with this very special sound when performing all around Brazil and worldwide.