Guitarist Rafael Moreira is an intuitive musician whose instincts and passions
are balanced by his versatility and technical dexterity.
Most recently, Rafael was in the spotlight as the lead guitarist for the Grammy-Award winning artist, Pink, on two North America tours in 2002 (the second, co-headlining with Lenny Kravitz) and a world tour that crossed Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. On camera, Rafael appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The David Letterman Show, Good Morning America, MTV's Video Music Awards in both the U.S. and Europe and the MTV/VH-1 Fashion Awards, sharing the stage with a cast of luminaries including Aerosmith's lead singer, Steven Tyler. Rafael also honored the Boston band on MTV's Aerosmith Tribute.
Rafael is no stranger to the concert stage, having previously toured the world as the guitarist with another Grammy-award winning pop sensation, Christina Aguilera, appearing on television in Japan and Canada (where he also toured.) He was been featured with Aguilera at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and on television shows including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, The MTV Awards, The Essence Awards, The ALMA Awards, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, VH-1's Men Strike Back and many others.
In addition to these performances, Rafael was invited to record on the debut project for the group Shapes, produced by Jimmy Haslip, where he performed with two legendary Brazilian artists: drummer Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim.
Born in Cambara, Parana, in Southern Brazil, Rafael came of age miles from the nearest city, far outside the range of any radio station. It was the artistic influence of his mother, a classical/jazz pianist, that fueled his earliest musical ambitions. He started singing at age two, by five he was playing guitar.
The rich musical diversity of Brazil, particularly the artistry of Djavan, Milton Nascimento and Antonio Carlos Jobim, proved an undeniable influence on Rafael's musical upbringing. His mother took infrequent trips to Sao Paulo, and she would return bearing the latest rock records including the Rolling Stones and Kiss which he would assimilate.
Fortunately Rafael also had two brothers who played bass and drums. All three performed with their mother in concert and theater appearances. The three siblings also formed a rock band and played outdoor shows at rodeos, honing their performance chops in front of audiences of 10,000+. In this arena at the age of nine Rafael refined a ferocious, crowd-pleasing lead guitar style.
Rafael left home and moved to Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana, to study classical music. His first band, however, was a jazz group called Lex Luthor. Next came Icarus, a melodic metal band where Rafael rejoined his brother to tour regionally to rave reviews.
"Trash jazz" was next on the agenda as a seventeen-year-old Rafael and company stirred up a smoking amalgam of rap and heavy metal in a group called Nospheratu. The band's EP was an underground indie hit.
"Musical opportunities were what brought me to the U.S.," recalls Rafael. As a student at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, Rafael began his transformation from shredding guitarist to complete musician. He also began expanding his own strain of musical definition, studying the nuances of jazz and incorporating this knowledge into his own style, merging it with Brazilian fusion and funk. He graduated in 1996 and was awarded a scholarship to continue his education. Also at MI Rafael won the GIT Masters Guitar Competition. He is currently featured on two internationally-released CD's, MI Japan GIT Masters and MI Jams.
Rafael has played with a number of bands including the melodic song-driven pop/rock band, Polyanna (who opened shows for Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash), and the dark, hard-rocking aggregation Strange Sum, at performance venues including: Luna Park, The Roxy, The Whiskey, The Palace, Dragonfly, The Troubadour, Coconut Teaszer, The Garage and other California clubs.
Rafael leads his own band in regular appearances at the Baked Potato in Hollywood where he brings his highly-original style to audiences accustomed to performances from the jazz giants of the 21st Century. In addition, Rafael is in demand as a sideman for sessions. He has performed with multi-platinum artists, Marc Anthony, Mya and Sisquo.
Rafael also helped to create music for the award-winning film, Distorted Images, which captured honors at the WorldFest Houston, Algarve International Film Festival (Portugal), and in New York at both the Latino Film Festival and the Independent International Film Festival. He is also a key musical ingredient, adding guitar and bass to the Japanese-released video game, Spawn.
"I enjoy every opportunity to be creative with other people's music," Rafael says. "I'm in a band to create sounds and textures." On both electric and acoustic guitars, Rafael creates supportive soundscapes with sweeping arpeggios, dense sonic textures, and his animated youthful velocity.
As a songwriter, composer and musician, Rafael continues to combine a wide variety of musical ingredients jazz, funk, rock and Brazilian music into new forms. His intense dedication to his craft is matched by his impeccable musicality. His musical horizons are limitless.