Raphael is a Chicago-based Trombonist, composer, and educator, and has been a member of the Columbia College Jazz faculty since 2009. Born and raised in the Metro Detroit area, Raphael was introduced to piano at the age of 6, followed by trombone three years later. This initial musical exposure, coupled with inspiring peers and teachers along the way, led to dreams of a professional music career, and ultimately, a Jazz Studies degree from Western Michigan University.
Raphael moved to Chicago in 2003 to pursue a freelance music career. Artists he has since shared the stage with include: Tom Jones, R. Kelly, Ramsey Lewis, Incognito, Wanda Jackson, Richie Cole, Umphrey’s McGee, Jon Faddis, Lalo Schiffrin, The Jersey Boys, Deanna Martin, Steve Turre, Brian Lynch, Art Hoyle, Ira Sullivan, Robbie Fulks, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Grammy-Nominated 911 Mambo Orchestra, Tito Puente, Jr., Johnny Rivera, Lefty Perez, & Michael Stuart. As a composer, Raphael is the recipient of composition grants from both the Kalamazoo and Illinois Arts Councils, and commissions through the Apollo Chorus and Evanston Orquestra de Samba.
Raphael's current musical projects include: VertiKal - a Hip-Hop Jazz project, LowDown Brass Band - a New Orleans-style outfit, the eclectic Model Citizens Big Band, and other various big bands, cover bands, and Afro-Latin ensembles.