Hey, fellow Modern Drummers! Mauricio de Souza here, stopping by to say hello. It is with great pleasure that I write these lines to introduce myself to this wonderful community. I am currently releasing my new album, Here. There… (Pulsa Music), in which I combine my groups: Mauricio de Souza Group (straight ahead jazz) and Bossa Brasil (Brazilian jazz). Please allow me to tell you how it all began.
I was born and raised in Brasília, Brazil, where I began taking drum lessons at the age of eleven. I started out as a rock drummer but became interested in jazz as the years went by. My father and my uncle were both professional musicians in Rio de Janeiro at the time bossa nova was born. They used to play jazz and Brazilian music, and all the records my father played at home and in the car finally got to me. When I was seventeen, my father, who is a big Dave Brubeck fan, brought me to the U.S. to study with [famed Brubeck Quartet drummer] Joe Morello. Mr. Morello’s technique and way of teaching changed my life musically and as a whole. He has been a great mentor, inspiration, and friend ever since.
After graduating from college, I settled in northern New Jersey (close to New York) and started the Mauricio de Souza Group and Bossa Brasil. Six years later, after numerous gigs and countless hours of rehearsals and practice, here I am!
Here. There… is a collection of ten jazz and Brazilian jazz standards, plus the title track, which is an original composition of mine. I had the great pleasure of recording not only with my right-hand musicians but also with one of my favorite guitar players, Mike Stern. Mr. Stern is an outstanding musician and a wonderful person. It was quite an experience!
What I really enjoy about being a bandleader is getting to choose the music I play. It certainly allows for a much broader artistic expression. Here. There… has been well received by fans, radio stations, and the press. It stayed on Jazz Week for three weeks, it is still being played periodically on WBGO (#1 jazz station in the U.S.), and is currently getting some nice reviews in different jazz media.
The past nineteen years have certainly been quite an adventure. Music and drumming are essential parts of my life. It is very rewarding to work on creating and developing something so powerful. Thank you, Modern Drummer, for giving me the opportunity to share a little about myself, and thank you all for taking the time to read this blog. All the best, and keep drumming!
For more on Mauricio DeSouza, go to www.mauriciodesouzajazz.com, www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MauricioDeSouza, or www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jEt-ncELpg.