New Artist Alert: Rafi B Levy
Rafi B. Levy was born in Israel and moved to Los Angeles, CA at the age of 5. He moved back and forth between Israel and Los Angeles a few times during his childhood. He began playing the guitar in Israel when he was 12. Rafi studied guitar with private teachers during his childhood and eventually went on to study at Rimon School of music for 1 year and at Cal Arts University for 1 year.
In 1997 Rafi formed his first band in Los Angeles, California with some really great musicians who also happened to be very close friends of his. They played groove based music (funk, reggae, hip hop music with other influences as well). Rafi wrote, recorded, and performed with his band all around Los Angeles and the United States for 12 years, and they recorded 4 albums together. They also got to share the stage with top national acts such as Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Xzibit, The Alkaholiks, Pennywise, Black Eye Peas and more. "It Was a super fun experience and I got to experiment and develop my writing and performing style a lot during that time", says Rafi.
In 2004 Rafi released his first solo album "Desert Cruising in a Dub State of Mind". That album was a mix of Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influenced guitar instrumentals. Although he was still committed to playing in his band full time, he began experimenting performing as a solo artist as well during that time.
In 2009, Rafi went to see a Flamenco show in LA and fell in love with that style. He wanted to surround himself in that culture and hear as much of that music as he could! So he went home and booked a flight to Seville Spain and decided to go study flamenco guitar out there. For 3 Years he went back and forth to Spain each time for periods of 6 to 7 months to Study the flamenco guitar in Seville, and he immersed himself in that music and lifestyle fully.
In the end he decided not to take the traditional path. He felt that his calling was to continue with the electric guitar and to incorporate the things that he had learned into his own music doing it his way. Rafi still continues to go to Spain for inspiration and to perform there as well on occasion.
On April 10th 2014 Rafi successfully finished his Kickstarter campain and managed to raise enough money for his album "Uplift Your Soul". This album was funded by fans, friends, and family through www.Kickstarter.com and officially released in November 2014. "The album has gotten a great response", says Rafi. As soon as the album was released Rafi began busking (street performing) in LA and the Santa Monica Pier, as well as performing at venues around LA. He has sold over 6,000 cd's busking in Santa Monica and continues to sell the album online and at shows.
Currently Rafi performs full time in Los Angeles and other parts of California at wineries and bars, restaurants, venues, and private parties/events. He normally performs solo guitar performances or as a duo (guitar and percussion). He also performs with a trio or bigger band when it's at a larger venue or event. Rafi performs his original compositions (Mediterranean, Spanish, Latin inspired guitar instrumentals), and a Looper set that is groove and melody based with lots of improvisation. He also performs cover songs in various styles (Popular Classics, Spanish, Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern).