Mauricio de Souza Group and Bossa Brasil®
Born in Braslia, Brazil, Maurcio de Souza is a jazz drummer who easily performs in both traditional jazz and Brazilian jazz styles. His good taste and finesse have allowed him to play in numerous settings with various accomplished musicians. Maurcio studied with world renowned jazz drummer and master teacher Joe Morello for eight years. He also had a year of private studies with distinguished all-round percussion teacher Glenn Weber. Aside from the inspiration of Mr. Morello, other influential performers include Buddy Rich, Airto Moreira, Dave Weckl, Roy Haynes, and Bill Stewart.
Coming from a musical family, de Souza began playing the drums at the age of eleven. Within a few months, he began performing with numerous local rock cover groups in his hometown. Always interested in evolving as a musician, he joined the youth percussion group at Braslia's "Teatro Nacional" (National Theater, home of Braslia's Symphony Orchestra). De Souza's attraction to elaborate music eventually brought him to Jazz. While a junior in high school, he used his summer vacation in Brazil to study with Joe Morello in New Jersey. Upon graduating from high school, de Souza came back to the US to continue his studies with Mr. Morello and attend college.
Since settling in Northern New Jersey in 2004, de Souza has been very active in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. He has performed at some of the finest jazz venues mostly as a band leader with his two groups: Bossa Brasil (Brazilian Jazz) and Maurcio de Souza Group (Straight Ahead Jazz).
In New York, de Souza performs monthly at Garage Jazz Club and has been heard at Smoke Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Lenox Lounge, Saint Peter's Church, Kitano Hotel, Bar Next Door, Whitney Museum, New York Polish Consulate, Cutting Room, Via Brasil, SOB's, New York Athletic Club, and Bubby's (Brooklyn) among many others.
In New Jersey, de Souza has performed at NJPAC's Sounds of the City, Trumpets Jazz Club (Montclair), Priory (Newark), Cornerstone (Metuchen), Salt Creek Grille (Princeton), Delta’s (New Brunswick), Cecil’s Jazz Club (West Orange), Tomaso's Jazz Room (Edgewater), Cross Roads (Garwood), Chico's House of Jazz (Asbury Park), Mohawk House (Sparta), Giamano's (Bradley Beach), Moonstruck (Asbury Park), and Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (Madison) to name a few.
In Philadelphia, he has been heard at Chris’s and Ortlieb’s Jazz clubs. De Souza has also performed at Cubata in Waterbury, Connecticut and Lily Pad in Massachusetts.
Festival appearances include: 2011 NJPAC's Sounds of the City, 2011 Morristown's First Night, 2011 Morristown Festival, 2010/2011 Keyport International Festival, 2011 EAP Hispanic Heritage Month Lunchtime Series, 2008/2009 Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival, 2006/2007/2008/2009/2010 Church St. Music Festivals (Montclair, NJ), 2009/2010 Journal Square Summer Series (Jersey City), 2009 Long Branch (NJ) Jazz and Blues Festival, 2007/2008 Artes Latinas Festival (Westampton, NJ), 2005 Burlington County (NJ) Music Festival, the 2005 Chester (NJ) Music Festival, and the 2004 Campbell Music Festival in Camden, NJ.
Internationally, de Souza has performed in Braslia, Brazil with his quartet/quintet at Gate's Pub, Velvet Pub, Restaurante Feitio Mineiro, Schlob Bar e Restaurante, C'Est Si Bon, and Jazz Cafe.
In his numerous performances as a guest percussionist with OSTNCS (Orquestra Sinfnica do Teatro Nacional Cludio Santoro de Braslia - Brazil), de Souza performed in the Brazilian premiere of Puccini's opera La Boheme and in the world premiere and recording of Cludio Santoro's 9th and 11th Symphonies. De Souza has also performed as a percussionist with the Bergen Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Orchestra in New Jersey.
In 2010 de Souza released his first commercial record entitled, "Here. There..." (Pulsa Music). The album features both Maurcio de Souza Group and Bossa Brasil with special guests: Mike Stern (guitar), Andrew Beals (alto sax), Gregory Rivkin (trumpet), Carl Viggiani and Noah Haidu (piano), Jerry Weir (vibes), and Morrie Louden (bass).
With the release of Here. There..., de Souza reached a much wider audience. The album reached #40 of the top 50 new releases in the Jazz Week chart for national radio airplay, it ranked #17 of the top 30 jazz albums by Music Choice, and it was elected #1 Jazz Album by WWPV 88.7 FM (Burlington, VT). Here. There... was also elected "album of the week" by Solar Latin Club (Colombia). It was featured countless times on WBGO 88.3 FM (#1 Jazz radio station in the US). Pandora internet radio and Sirius XM satellite radio have added "Here. There..." to their music libraries.
To date, the album has been reviewed in Jazz Times Magazine, All About Jazz (online), All About Jazz NY (newspaper), Jazz Inside NY Magazine, JazzChicago.net, Sea of Tranquility (online), and The Midwest Record among others.
De Souza was featured in a one hour interview with Awilda Rivera for WBGO. He also recorded a radio interview at the BBC Studio in New York with Ken Bader (NPR, PRI, BBC) for his show, “The World”. Please visit the “Articles” page to view the files for the reviews and interviews.
Maurcio de Souza Group performs a variety of jazz standards from Miles to Metheny. The group concentrates on performing the most refined tunes from numerous jazz eras. The challenging arrangements include tunes in 3/4, 5/4, and 7/4 time as well as modal tunes.
Bossa Brasil, performs the most sophisticated Brazilian music. The repertoire includes compositions from Brazil’s most outstanding artists such as Tom Jobim, Egberto Gismonti, Roberto Menescal, Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Victor Assis Brasil, Hermeto Pascoal, Baden Powell, Luiz Eca, Rique Pantoja and Pixinguinha. Some of the even more exotic rhythms explored by the group include the “Baio” and the "Chorinho."