Raúl Gutiérrez

Raúl Gutiérrez
Raúl Gutiérrez is a saxophonist (alto, tenor, baritone), flutist, clarinettist and composer.

Raúl Gutiérrez was born April 23, 1955 in Santiago, Chile. In 1965, he discovered Cuban music while at school in La Serena, a small town in the north of the country.

1970: studied music at the Escuela Musical Vespertina at the University of Chile in Santiago.

1973: left Chile and moved to Barcelona, Spain then to Lyon, France. For the next 4 years he performed with the local band La Marmite Infernale and was a member of the Association à la Recherche d'un Folklore Imaginaire (ARFI).

1978: moved to Paris, France, and played with local bands (François Tusques, Alan Silva Jo Maka…)

1980: joined the Tito Puente Orchestra and toured Scandinavia. Went to the University of Rhode Island to study with Jamey Aebersold.

1981: Settled in Munich, Germany, where he founded the Irazu Orchestra. Irazu is a Machito-Mario Bauza styled big band. Over the years the band recorded with world famous soloists: saxophonist Lou Donaldson; trumpeters Arturo Sandoval, Chocolate Armenteros; pianists Alfredo Rodríguez, Eddie Martínez, Hector Martignon, Kenny Kirkland; percussionists Tata Guines, Amadito Valdés, Nicky Marrero. Among the arrangers who have worked with Irazu are Jeff Fuller, Horacio González, Tolly Ramírez, José Quintana and Phillip Beetz.

1985: from that year on, he has travelled frequently to Cuba to study and work with local musicians.

1990: began working with the Cuban arranger Horacio González, the current musical director of the Tropicana Orchestra in Havana, Cuba.

1994: moved back to Santiago de Chile and reorganized Irazu with local soloists.

1998: He joined the Afro-Cuban All Stars with Miguel Anga Díaz, Amadito Valdés, Manuel Licea 'Puntillita'; he has continued touring throughout the world ever since. He is invited to record with Omara Portuondo.

2001: Participated in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney with the Afro-Cuban All Stars. Performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York; Massey Hall in Toronto; Ronnie Scott’s in London; La Cigale in Paris; Victoria Hall in Geneva and at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland,