A friend turned me on to Brazilian guitarist Raphael Rabello about a year ago, and I was kind of blown away. Rabello died tragically in 1995, and he seems to be better known in his native Brazil, but I just wanted to share him with those of you who may not know of him. There are more videos on YouTube and some are great informal ones. He definitely deserves a listen.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Raphael Rabello – La Catedral”

  1. Palmer Hoovestal says:

    What kind of guitar is he playing there?

  2. Impressive performance of this very difficult piece. I love the “fat ” tone of his bass string on this seven string guitar.

    I am curious if he is a flamenco player, since many of his scale approaches are flamenco like. Does any one know his background?

  3. Joao Ernani F. Filho says:

    Raphael Rabello was born in 1962 and passed away (but, hei is immortal) in 1995. His firts solo recording was “Rafael 7 Cordas” (Vinil, Fontana, 1982), when he used a 7 strings guitar of “Do Souto”. In the 80’s, he record an album about maestro Radames Gnattali’s pieces and another witch the maestro himself on the piano about the works of Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha). On this sessions he used a 6 strings guitar of “Ramires” (1a), of 1969 – this guitar was bought of the maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim – and 7 strings guitars made by “Do Souto”, and other by “Mario Jorge Passos” on 1986. The note of the album about Gnattali was wroten by the great Paco de Lucia. On 1988, he recorded other vinil with masterpieces of brazilian repertoire, using guitar by “Ramirez” anod “Mario Jorge Passos” (7 strings). He studied with Meira, that had also teached guitar to Baden Powell. Rafael was, besides an matchless solist, a genius making the bases: for this, has shared many works with great singers (Elizeth Cardoso, Nelson Gonçalves, Ney Matogrosso..) and musicians (Paulo Moura, Deo Rian, Armandinho, Dino 7 Cordas, Romero Lumambo). The GSP has a great albun (the last) of Rabello; he also got a CD with Jobin’s pieces and another about the choros and waltzes of Dilermando Reis. The guitars most used by Rafael Rabello were “Mario Jorge Passos” (7 string) – used on the video – and “Jose Ramirez”, one of 1969 and another of 1988, both “1A”. His sister, Luciana, is one of the best “cavaquinistas” of Brazil and she is married with the poet Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, with whom, Rabello did a serie of marvellous songs, recorded by his other sister, Amelia.
    Fortaleza/CE, Brazil

  4. Guilherme says:

    I’m almost sure that Rafael’s “school” was choro, an early urban, instrumental style that sprung in the late 19th century in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is really a school for many brazilian musicians.

  5. Mario Jorge Passos says:

    Well, I was passing around, did see my name, and decided to enter the conversation. I knew several great players. I know Sergio Abreu, Marcelo Kayath (you should try to find who they are), the Assad Brothers (I had lessons with Sergio), Turibio Santos (had lessons with him, too) and heard Julian Bream play live twice, just to mention a few.

    Raphael was fantastic. A great player and a great musician. No he was not a flamenco player but he knew and played with Paco de Lucia, who recorded Garota de Ipanema with Raphael in one of Raphael albums.

    I did hear about him a lot but never heard him playing until the day he appeared in my workshop in Rio with his Ramirez (formerly owned by Antonio Carlos Jobim, as mentioned above) and played. I was stunned. Shocked. Impressed. He could play awfully fast, with great brazilian swing, and make old music sound like it was an improvise he just invented.

    Then he asked me to build a 7 seven sting guitar “like this”, pointing to the Ramirez. In 15 days, so he could use it in a tour. Well, I almost made it. The guitar was ready in about 20-25 days and he started playing it right out of my shop, in recordings and on stage. I did build 3 guitars for him. The second was stolen from my workshop — it was there for an overnight adjustment and was the only strung guitar when someone broke into the shop, and stole the guitar, a power drill an answering machine. A common thief, that most probably sold the guitar for pennies. The third one is the one he plays in this video, that I did build also in record time to replace the stolen one. A fourth one was on the way as he died. Many years later — I am no longer a luthier, but a computer consultant — I hired someone finish the construction of the guitar and sold it to Marcello Gonçalves, who had one of my seven string guitars, and that a few weeks later did buy the first one from Raphael’s heirs. As far as I can remember — perhaps I am wrong — he also purchased the one above, making him “the biggest collector of Mario Jorge Passos guitars in the world” (with laughs, please).

  6. ronjazz says:

    Mario, I am sorry to hear that you no longer build guitars, as I have fallen under the spell of Raphael and the 7-string, and came looking for you to see if I could find or order one of y8our instruments. I’ll have to keep searching, i guess. Did you build Raphael’s guitars as Flamenco-style? They sound faster and brighter than most classical 7-strings.

    • Mario Jorge Passos says:

      Hi Ronjazz, Raphael 7 string guitars (and all my 7 string guitars) were built based on his Ramirez classical 6 string guitar, that once belonged to Antonio Carlos Jobim, and was used by Tony Motolla in the Sinatra-Jobim Sessions. They are not copies, but are cedar topped, with spruce fan struts. The traditional brazillian 7 string guitar is spruce topped with a very thick top and heavy steel strings, what gives them a “thud” tone very different from Rapahel’s bright, rather flamenco-like, or Spanish tone.


Change language: