“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
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“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 composer 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, The 55 Bar, The Edison Ballroom and Bowery Electric both as a solo artist with his original music as well as with a number of bands. He has received rave reviews on his playing as a sideman with Tony Award Winning Singer Luba Mason and her project Mixtura, The Prince Of Bollywood Jeffrey Iqbal & Unity Through Music, , Night Of The Living Funk, Steven Frieder Group, Ben Rosenblum’s Nebula Project, and The Gianni Organ Trio (GOT), The Original Haus Band amongst others.
His debut “Portrait” (2014) was co- produced by Multi-Grammy Award Winning Bassist/Composer John Benitez and was awarded 4 stars from international publications. “Portrait” features an incredible cast of master musicians bringing together Puerto Rico’s Bomba and Plena rhythms, jazz harmony, and rock’s aggressive nature to form a unique and original canvas of sound beyond the normal clave bringing this music to festivals all over the world.
Rafael is currently part of the Faculty at LIU’s ROCNATION. He has taught at other colleges like NYU, CUNY, Saint John’s University, and his private studio: The Brooklyn Rock Academy; mentoring students graduate to music colleges all over the world and develop their own voices as artists. He regularly performs in NYC and his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, so be sure to check the calendar.
In 2022 His second album as a leader “Axiomatic: Music For The People” . Later on that same year he was named a Fellow for the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for Music Composition, becoming only the second Puerto Rican ever in the Music Composition Category to receive this prestigious honor. His 3rd release as a leader: “The Professor”, an exploration on world rhythms and new textures of groove, is set to be released in 2023.