His first guitar teacher was an older brother, Ruy Fabiano, when Raphael Rabello was seven years old. However, the biggest influence on Rabello starting his music studies was his grandfather, José de Queiroz Baptista, who was a choro guitar player. He studied music theory with Maria Alice Salles, who also taught his brothers and sisters. In the 1970s, he took guitar lessons with Jaime Florence, the famous Meira, who had also taught Baden Powell in the 1940s. In the same period, he studied harmony with Ian Guest.
Influenced by Dino 7 Cordas, Rabello eventually switched to the Brazilian seven-string guitar and started playing professionally when he was a teenager. His first recording as a sideman was at age 14 on a recording of choro music by classical guitarist Turibio Santos. In this period, he took lessons from guitarist Dino 7 Cordas (Dino 7 strings), with whom he recorded an LP in 1991. In 1976, he founded the group Os Carioquinhas, with his sister Luciana Rabello (cavaquinho), Paulo Alves (mandolin), Téo (acoustic guitar) and Mario Florêncio (tambourine). The band became famous and played with many other choro groups, such as Época de Ouro and Quinteto Villa-Lobos. They also recorded one album in 1977. In 1979, Rabello became a member of Camerata Carioca.
This was the period in which he met Radamés Gnattali, who became a partner of Rabello. They recorded one disc together in 1984.Three years later, Rabello also recorded a tribute album to Gnattali. Between 1980 and 1981, Rabello became a studio musician and started recording with many singers and instrumentalists. In this same period, he started his career as an arranger, working for the group Galo Preto. His most productive years spanned 1982 to 1995. He was considered by many to be one of the finest guitarists of his generation.
He played in many different styles, but specialized in choro. His first album was released in 1982 and, influenced by Dino 7 Cordas, Rabello adopted the name 'Raphael 7 Cordas', which was also the name of his first record. However, he did not use this nickname for very long. Throughout his career, Rabello recorded 16 albums, some of them with memorable artists, such as Dino 7 Cordas, Elizeth Cardoso and Paulo Moura. He also participated on about 600 albums recording in Brazil and abroad.
He participated in concerts and recordings with a number of well-known Brazilian musicians, such as Tom Jobim, Ney Matogrosso, Jaques Morelenbaum and Paulo Moura, as well as international players, such as Paco de Lucia. Rabello also became famous abroad. He performed shows in Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Portugal, France, Canada and United States. In 1994, he moved to the USA and met Laurindo de Almeida, who helped to spread his work around the world. There, he also gave guitar lessons in Los Angeles.
At the end of the same year, he returned to Brazil to participate in the project "Orgulho do Brasil", which had the goal of recording songs composed by the most notable artists of that country. In this project, he recorded a tribute to Capiba, which was released in 2002. In 1989, Rabello was in a car accident and suffered multiple fractures in his right arm. After a delicate surgery, he recovered and continued to play months later. However, during the surgery, he contracted HIV in a blood transfusion.
Hopeless, he became addicted to alcohol and drugs. On April 27, 1995, Rafael Rabello died of cardiac dysrhythmia followed by respiratory arrest. “The best guitarist I’ve heard in years. He has overcome the technical limitations of the instrument, and his music comes unhindered from his soul, straight to the hearts of we who admire him.” — Paco de Lucia “Raphael Rabello was simply one of the greatest guitarists who has ever lived. His level of insight into the potential of the instrument was matched only by the great Paco de Lucia.
He was ‘the’ Brazilian guitarist of our time, in my opinion. His loss at such a young age is an incredible loss, not only for what he already did, but for what he could have done.” — Pat Metheny “This is the missing CD among Raphael Rabello’s scarce discography. It's like a dream come true to see this CD accomplished—one of the best solo guitar albums I have listened to. …an important contribution to the Brazilian guitar.” — Paulo Bellinati “Raphael Rabello was one of the most notorious guitar players of all time.
His approach was very expressive and confident, with moving interpretations and exuberant technique. His contribution was essential, leaving one of the richest and most remarkable pages in the history of the Brazilian guitar.” — Marco Pereira “If the acoustic guitar has once again established itself as the leading instrumental voice of modern Brazilian music, much of the credit can be given to Raphael Rabello…” — Mark Holston, Guitar Player Magazine Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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