Rafael's professional conducting credits include with the Romanian National Opera Orchestra in Constanţa, the Pazardjik Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cusco in Peru. He led the national youth orchestra in Costa Rica's "sistema" as Artistic Director, culminating in a tour to Mexico and performances at the Sala Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City, Auditorio “Sentimientos de la Nación” in Chilpancingo, and at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica. He served as Assistant Conductor with the Boulder Philharmonic during his Colorado residency, led a production of "Goyescas" by Enrique Granados as Music Director with the Boulder Opera Company, and conducted the premiere of Venezuelan composer Reinaldo Moya's one-act opera “Tienda” for the Schubert Club in St. Paul, centered on powerful themes of racism and assimilation within an eclectic 21st-century compositional style.
Highly regarded throughout Latin America for his work conducting wind bands, Rafael appears regularly with the National Bands of Costa Rica and has worked with the Air Force and the Navy Bands of Peru, the Eighth Infantry Battalion Army Band in Tabatinga, Brazil, and with university bands in Colombia, Peru, and Costa Rica. He has given workshops and conference presentations in each of these countries, and has presented in virtual conferences throughout the continent.
Rafael's work as a jazz performer includes leading trios and quartets in southern California from 2000 - 2005 with performances at major hotels and jazz clubs in the San Diego area, and in Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace Hotel and at the London Club in the Aladdin Hotel. Performances in Costa Rica and in Bolivia followed, the latter featuring a midnight show at the famous Thelonius Bar in La Paz. Rafael's work as a jazz performer and educator continues in Latin America with the New Jazz Project in Costa Rica, and in collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) Big Band.
Performing with the Augsburg University Chamber Strings for Gov. Tim Walz' second inauguration as Governor of the State of Minnesota
(The Fitzgerald Theatre, St. Paul)