Rafael was born in Santos, a city in the coastline of São Paulo, where he discovered the world of percussion by the age of nine. He graduated from Tatuí Conservatory in 2004 under Javier Calvin and Luis Marcos Caldana and continued his studies at State University of São Paulo (Unesp), where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Percussion in 2008, under professors John Boudler, Carlos Stasi and Eduardo Gianesella. In 2011, he received his master’s degree in music from the Stony Brook University in New York, as a student of Eduardo Leandro.
The musician has worked with the Symphony Orchestra of Stony Brook and the Contemporary Chamber Players, a group specialized in music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has also participated in the percussion groups of Tatuí Conservatory and in Piap at Unesp. Rafael has also been a fellow in four consecutive editions of Festival de Campos do Jordão and in 2014, he participated in the 33rd Cloyd Duff Timpani Masterclass at the University of Georgia, USA.
In 2010, along with percussionist Leonardo Gorosito, he founded Desvio, a group dedicated to the composition and performance of new percussion works.