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Paulo Moura

One of Brazil's best proponents and keepers of the gafieira tradition (popular ballrooms historically linked to the Carioca folklore tradition of highly artistic and swinging dancing and playing) and one of the best choro players, Paulo Moura is an internationally awarded musician whose high standards make it easy for him to cross boundaries between classical and popular music, both performing and arranging in small ensembles or large symphonic orchestras. As a conductor, orchestrator, and arranger for famous Brazilian singers, he includes in his resumé works for Elis Regina, Fagner, Taiguara, Milton Nascimento, and Marisa Monte. Paulo Gonçalves de Moura was born in a musical family. His father, Pedro Moura, was an amateur bandleader and clarinetist himself, but was a carpenter by profession. Paulo's brothers, José and Alberico, are trumpet players and Valdemar, a trombonist. At nine, Paulo started to study the piano and at 13, was already playing in his father's band at parties and balls. Moving to Rio with his family, at 18 he began his studies at the National College of Music. Completing the seven-year course in only two years, he continued his studies of theory, harmony, and counterpoint with the famous master Paulo Silva. He also studied harmony, counterpoint, and fugue with fundamental Brazilian composer/orchestrator/conductor Guerra Peixe. On the popular side, he took arrangement lessons with internationally acclaimed Brazilian saxophonist/composer/arranger Moacir Santos and with saxophonist/composer/arranger Maestro Cipó. In 1951, Moura joined Osvaldo Borba's orchestra. Later, he also joined Zacarias e Sua Orquestra. His first recording gig, the song “Palhaço” (Nelson Cavaquinho), was as sideman for the extremely popular singer Dalva de Oliveira. At 19, he debuted as a soloist, playing Weber's “Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra,” accompanied by the Orquestra Sinf�'nica Nacional. Hired by the Orquestra Ary Barroso, he toured Mexico in 1953. Soon after, he joined the group of great trombonist Maciel. Hired by Rádio Tupi, he played there with the Orquestra Cipó. In 1954, he joined the Conjunto Guio de Morais, which was a regular act at the famous Régine's nightclub. His first album as soloist (a 78 rpm for Columbia) was recorded in 1956: Paganini's Moto Perpetuo. In 1957, he organized his first gafieira orchestra, performing with it at the gafieira Brasil Danças. In that same year, he recorded Paulo Moura e Sua Orquestra Para Bailes (Sinter). In 1958, Moura was hired by Rádio Nacional as an orchestrator and arranger, working there for two years.

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