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Brazilian born, New York City-based drummer/composer Mauricio Zottarelli has been on the forefront of the Jazz, Latin and Brazilian music scenes for many years. A Grammy nominated artist, Zottarelli has been called “superb”, “outstanding”, “dynamic” and “extraordinary” by many prestigious musical publications all over the world, such as JazzTimes and Downbeat magazines.

Mauricio comes from a musical family and was born in Santos, SP, Brazil, but grew up in Rio Claro, SP in a highly musical environment. His first few years as a professional musician consisted of many performances throughout his native country as well as studio and session work with different artists and bands. At the same time, he pursued a degree in Computer Science, and concluded his studies in 1997. Mauricio moved to the U.S. in 1999 after winning a scholarship award to study at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA. He majored in Film Scoring, Performance and Arranging, and graduated from the prestigious college in 2002.

mz bio
Daniel Corso - Escena     

Mauricio is a critically acclaimed and award-winning drummer and artist. Since his move to New York City in 2006, he has become one of the most sought after drummers on the scene. Zottarelli is credited in almost 100 albums so far in his career, and has worked and shared the stage with some of the most important and notable artists of today, crossing over many musical styles.

Some of them are: Hiromi, Eliane Elias, Toquinho, Prasanna, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Esperanza Spalding, Eddie Daniels, Cristina Pato, Keiko Matsui, Richard Bona, Paquito D’Rivera, Richard Galliano, Chico Pinheiro, Cláudio Roditi, Joe Locke, Geoffrey Keezer, Mike Pope, Eldar, Ivan Lins, Carmen Souza, Chuck Loeb, Rosa Passos, Dom Salvador, Jovino Santos Neto, Christos Rafalides, Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Toninho Horta, Oriente Lopez, Filó Machado, Gustavo Assis Brasil, Hendrik Meurkens, and many others.

Also very active as a bandleader and composer/arranger, Mauricio co-leads and collaborates with several projects, such as the Dig Trio - with guitarist Gustavo Assis Brasil - which released its first CD in 2003 to great reviews from critics and audiences alike.

In 2009, Mauricio released his first solo album, entitled 7 Lives, which includes several of his own compositions and it features a unique mix of Brazilian jazz, fusion, and jazz, played by a very talented lineup: Gustavo Assis Brasil (guitars), Itaiguara Brandão (bass), Milene Corso (vocals), Brandi Disterheft (bass), Dom Salvador (piano), Oriente Lopez (piano, flutes), Esperanza Spalding (bass), Cidinho Teixeira (piano) and Rodrigo Ursaia (sax).

In 2011 Zottarelli released MOZIK – a collaboration with pianist Gilson Schachnik, and also featuring Gustavo Assis Brasil, Fernando Huergo and Yulia Musayelyan. The album has garnered praises from many important jazz/music publications such as Downbeat magazine and All About Jazz. The prestigious Jazz Station Blog, written by journalist/producer Arnaldo deSouteiro, considered MOZIK the #1 new talent of 2011 and included the CD in their TOP 15 best of 2011. Mauricio also has been included in their Top 10 Drummers Of The Year list with different projects since 2011.

In 2012, Mauricio won the prestigious Brazilian Music Awards (Prêmio da Música Brasileira), the most important music award in Brazil, with artist Dom Salvador and his album “The Art of Samba Jazz”. In 2014, Mauricio released another collaboration – this time with bassist Amanda Ruzza. The album is called “Glasses, No Glasses”, and it is a free improvisation, live-in-the-studio recording with special guest, pianist and multi-instrumentalist Léo Genovese.

Mauricio’s highly anticipated new album “Upside Down Looking Up” - an ambitious new release about a person’s journey through life and its sometimes overwhelming moments and situations, was released in November 2017. Listed among the 25 best albums of the year by Jazz Station, this project is also a personal account of Mauricio’s past few years and features mostly original compositions performed by a stellar lineup, consisting of Zottarelli’s regular band members and some very special guests: Oriente Lopez (flute/piano); Itaiguara Brandão (bass) Rodrigo Ursaia (sax); Gustavo Assis Brasil (guitars); Milene Corso (vocals); Mike Pope (bass); Eldar Djangirov (keys); Helio Alves (piano) Christos Rafalides (vibes) and Klaus Mueller (piano).
In 2018 Mauricio was a finalist on the 23rd USA Songwriting Competition, in two different categories, with songs from his newst album.

Following his growing interest in music education, Mauricio teaches regularly in the NYC area, and has done workshops/clinics in South America, Europe and the USA. He has taught at the world-famous Brazil Camp in California; the Berklee LATINO program in Colombia, and has written many articles for Modern Drummer Magazine in Brazil.






“Zottarelli’s phrasing is really out of this world!
He expresses his musicality in an almost indescribable manner, showing his incredible mastery of the instrument, and making the music become the target of all his phrases and grooves.”

review of Oriente Lopez's "Aguas Profundas"




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