Rafael Pereira, better known as Rafa, grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. He began studying drums and percussion at the age of 12, being inspired by the contagious sounds of Brazil’s street rhythms, parades and outdoor concerts. He had many opportunities growing up to study with a host of master percussionists such as Airto Moreira, Naná Vasconcelos, Guello, Marcos Suzano, Alex Acuña, Luis Conte and many others. He relocated to the United States following an exchange program in 2004 and went on to achieve his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Drum Set at Georgia State University (GSU) in 2010. Since then his music continues to blend Brazilian traditional rhythms with Jazz and many other styles into a wide array of musical settings.
His relocation to Atlanta, Georgia also allowed him to broaden his studies into various types of World Music. He performs full-time with many local artists including Brazilian/Latin Jazz guitarist Sasha Lisnichuk, and Rua 6, who was voted Best Latin Band in the Atlanta area by USA Today. With a heavy recording schedule, Rafael has appeared on over 30 albums in the past seven years with artists such as Shawn Mullins, Toku (Sony), Khari Simmons, Julie Dexter and many more. In addition to being a studio percussionist and drummer Rafael has a growing portfolio as a record producer and engineer, including two albums for Sasha Lisnichuk, Rua 6, The New Aiyê Project, Latin pop artist Willie Ziavino and Samba songwriter Guilherme Lacerda.