Paulo Ramos, a Brazilian born into a family of musicians in São Paulo, singer, guitarist and songwriter, began playing percussion at the age of ten. At the age of twelve, under the guidance of his brother Toninho Ramos, a virtuoso guitarist, he started playing classical guitar, which became his main instrument. During the sixties, Brazilian music, driven by the vast popularity of bossa nova, offered him rhythms, harmonies and melodies with deep roots.
He arrived in Montreal in 1986 and formed the “Paulo Ramos Group” with Dan Gigon on bass and Yves Gigon on drums. This group toured extensively in Canada and abroad (United States, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore).
Zig-zag (1988) and Futuro (1991), the band’s first two albums, produced by the Japanese label Tayo Music, received rave reviews in both Los Angeles and Tokyo. Zig-zag was a top 40 hit. Futuro, recorded and mixed in Los Angeles by Roger Nichols (collaborator of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Stevie Wonder, Ricky Lee Jones, etc.), features the participation of internationally renowned musicians such as Alex Acuna, Don Gruisin and Dori Caymmi.
In 1996, the “Paulo Ramos Group” performed in front of more than 50,000 people at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 1997, their album Africa do Brasil won the Juno award for best world music album. That same year, the group’s 4th album was recorded live at the prestigious Montreux Festival in Switzerland: Live at Montreux.
In 2002, Paulo recorded Brasil em Fevereiro, co-produced with Francis Collard. He directed Fragil Felicidade, recorded in Montreal and Rio in 2006. In 2010, he released his 7th album, Bossamba, produced by Sacha Daoud and Francis Collard, with the participation of his brother Toninho Ramos, Bïa and Monica Freire. In 2011, he won the Éval-Manigat Prize for Multicultural Song, awarded by the Foundation of the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ). In 2014, he launched a compilation album of the gems of his repertoire.
Despite the pandemic, Paulo remains present on the Montreal scene. In 2022, he co-produced a 9th album, Lua Vermelha (“Red Moon”), with Sacha Daoud. Sacha Daoud is also on drums and percussion, with Jean-Pierre Zanella on saxophone, flute and clarinet, Dan Gigon and André Faleiros on bass, John Sadowy, Guy Dubuc and Jessica Vigneault on piano, Péri, Daniel Bellegarde and Fabrice Laurent on percussion, André Dequech on accordion, as well as backup singers Monica Freire, Annick Brémault, Elie Haroun and Jessica Vigneault.
Paulo Ramos has been close to Nuits d’Afrique productions for over 30 years. Therefore, for his premiere at the festival, Paulo Ramos will present some exclusive tracks from his album to be released in the fall of 2022 under the label Disques Nuits d’Afrique.