Paulo Moura was born on July 15, 1932 in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil into a musical family as his father, Pedro, was also a musician and taught each of his ten children to play music. Pedro played saxophone and clarinet as did his son. Paulo received his first clarinet at nine years old and only a few years later he was performing alongside his father. Moura’s family moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1945 and Paulo began studying music at the National School of Music. While his father constantly urged him to be a tailor, Paulo knew in his heart that music would be his path and was playing professionally at fourteen years old.
Moura made his first solo recording in 1956 titled ‘Moto Perpetuo’ and was also known in Brazil for his work with Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina. Paulo loved Jazz and tried to incorporate it into the native music of his land as much as possible. In 1962 he performed with Sergio Mendes at Carnegie Hall for Bossa Nova Night and they both also played on Cannonball Adderley’s album “Cannonball’s Bossa Nova” released the same year. Moura also worked with Carlos Jobim, Lena Horne, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Ella Fitzgerald among others. Some other incredible experiences in his life include winning the Sharp Award for most popular instrumentalist in 1992, winning a Latin Grammy in 2000 and serving on the State Council of Culture in Rio de Janeiro as well as the President of the Museum Foundation of Image and Sound.
Paulo leaves a legacy as one of greatest instrumentalists in Brazil’s history as well as a great arranger, composer and orchestrator. Moura’s music will continued to be enjoyed by people all around the world for many years to come.