“Rafael is a virtuoso composer and guitarist that can play any kind of music with authority. He is part of a new seed of artists of this present time, compromise with the listener in mind. Producing songs for this CD, performing with him and his friends has been a real enjoyable experience.” – John Benitez, Grammy Award WinninG Bassist/Composer/Educator/Producer
“Rafael has a beautiful sound, heart, ideas, sensibility and will to develop his language and expand his musical world. I have no doubt he is going to surprise us and I look forward to hearing more of his thrilling music.” – Jean Michel Pilc, 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship Award Winner Master Pianist/Composer/Educator/Author
“Rafael is a musician with a huge heart. He radiates a love of life and his art shows tremendous generosity and trust. These qualities are what you will hear in the beautiful music he has created in “Portrait” – Kenny Werner, 2010 Guggeheim Fellowship Award Winner, Master Pianist/Composer/Educator/Author
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“Music can change your life in an instant, it changed mine. It has never let me down, I believe in music“. – Rafael Rosa, Guitarist/Composer
Rafael has established himself as a premier guitarist and artist since his arrival in NYC in 2011. He has performed at renowned venues such as the Blue Note Jazz Club, ShapeShifter Lab, DROM, Shrine World Music, The Bitter End, The Rainbow Room, The Metropolitan Room, 54 Below, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club and Bowery Electric. He has received rave reviews on his playing with Tony Award Winning Singer Luba Mason and her project Mixtura, The Prince Of Bollywood Jeffrey Iqbal & Unity Through Music, Cody Geil’s Bon Musique, as well as R&B sensation Jarrett Cato, among others.
Rafael is also an accomplished composer. Releasing his debut as a Leader in 2014, “Portrait” was co-produced by Grammy Winning Bassist/Composer John Benitez and was awarded 4 stars from both international and local publications. “Portrait” features an incredible cast of master musicians bringing together Puerto Rico’s rhythms, jazz’s colorful harmony, and rock’s aggressive nature to form a unique and original canvas of sound.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rafael taught himself the guitar at age 15. He has since performed and recorded with local greats there such as Eric Figueroa, Ramon Vazquez, Edmar Colon, Jonathan Suazo, Felipe Fournier and [menos es mas], who was nominated for Best Jazz Album from ACAM with their self titled album. In August 2014, he opened for legendary Latin Jazz Icons “Timbalaye” in Puerto Rico’s Ventana Al Jazz Festival.
A graduate from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music Graduate Jazz Performance Program, he studied and performed with some of the city’s top musicians including Kenny Werner, Jean Michel Pilc, John Scofield, Stefon Harris, Alan Ferber, Wayne Krantz, Peter Bernstein, Miguel Zenon and John Benitez. During his time there, he taught undergraduates as part of the faculty as well as invited to perform with the Afro-Peruvian Group “Karachacha” and guest artist Dave Pietro as part of the 2013 Jazz Educators Network Annual Conference (JEN) in Atlanta, Georgia.
He is currently part of the Guitar Faculty at the Brooklyn Music School and maintains a private teaching studio in New York City as well as around the world through Skype. He also is putting the finishing touches on his new music quartet “Axiomatic” as well as working on his second album, set to come out in 2016.