New Jazz Project
Rafael is the founder and director of the New Jazz Project in Costa Rica. Comprised of advanced conservatory and university music students from throughout the metropolitan area and in partnership with the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, New Jazz Project is a modern big band with the exploration of jazz studies as its mission. Studies include an understanding of extended jazz harmony, related scales and modes, and improvisation while performing modern big band arrangements.
Members of the New Jazz Project have had the opportunity to study with jazz performers from New
York University, the Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, and recognized jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, Lenny Picket, Dave Schroeder, Rich Shemaria, Gary Campbell, Alex Terrier, and John Gunther.
Notable performances have included sold out concerts at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, Independence Day celebrations for the U.S. Embassy at the Intercontinental Hotel (2011), World War II allied victory celebrations for the Russian Embassy (2010), and appearances in the bi-annual Costa Rica International Jazz Festival (2011 and 2013). Since Rafael's departure from Costa Rica, the New Jazz Project has been superseded by the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano (CCCN) Jazz Orchestra and the Instituto Nacional de Música (National Conservatory) Big Band where the legacy of jazz studies in Costa Rica lives on.