Recent Berklee College of Music Graduate, Rafael Espinoza is an Award Winning Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist from Golden, TX who performs with his band at various venues throughout the year.
Rafael Espinoza’s Accomplishments, Awards and Milestones2009 Graduate of Alba-Golden High School - Solo Acoustic Performance at his High School Graduation.
Wins The 2009 All-State Jazz Guitar Title in the State of Texas - As result, performs with The All-State Jazz Band at The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX which featured the best high school student musicians in the state of Texas. There he performed with Mike Vax-Lead Trumpeter with The Stan Kenton Orchestra.
Wins The 2009 Four States Jazz Guitar Title - Selected as The Four States Jazz Guitarist in The Four States Jazz Band, which was comprised of the best high school student musicians from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. At this event, he performed at The Perot Theatre in Texarkana TX with Grammy Award Winner/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Tom “Bones” Malone of Blues Brothers Fame and who now plays in the CBS Orchestra on The Late Show With David Letterman.
Receives Scholarship at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX - After graduating high school in 2009, Rafael attended Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX, where he received a scholarship and studied Classical Guitar with Franklin Kimlicko who is from the classical guitar lineage of Francisco Tarrega, Daniel Fortea, Celedonio Romero and Pepe Romero. While at TJC, Rafael played guitar in the Top Jazz Ensemble, The Classical Guitar Ensemble, and played guitar in the front ensemble of The TJC Apache Marching Band.
Graduates Tyler Junior College - Rafael graduated Tyler Junior College in May of 2011 after receiving his Associates Degree in Music Performance.
Performs with Grammy Award Winner/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jim Fielder - Jim Fielder, bassist for Blood Sweat and Tears.
Performs with The Famous Boogie Woogie Pianist Omar Shariff - Invited to sit in with Omar Shariff Band in Marshall, TX, The Birthplace of The Boogie Woogie.
Headlines Own Concert at The Historic Mineola Select Theater - Sendoff Concert for Rafael's acceptance into The Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Receives Scholarship to The Top Contemporay Music School In The World - After receiving a scholarship, Rafael starts attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in the Fall of 2011.
Awarded as One of The Top Jazz & Blues Guitarists at Berklee College of Music - During Rafael's first semester at Berklee, he was selected to perform for the 2011 Jazz and Blues Guitar Night at The Berklee Performance Center on Thursday Night, November 10th. 2011, which was hosted by Guitar Department Faculty Garrison Fewell and John Marasco. The Concert featured Berklee's Best Student Guitarists and their Ensembles in Jazz and Blues styles. The Guitar Night concerts are some of the most anticipated student performances of the year. Many students consider participating in this event the high point of their Berklee career.
Studies With The Top Professionals In The Music Industry - Studied electric guitar under Kevin Belz. Rafael took part in several master classes with Country/Blues Guitarists Woody Mann and Paul Rishell through Berklee’s Visiting Artist Program. Studied Slide Guitar with Dan Bowden. Had several Guitar Labs and classes with Thaddeus Hogarth, Mike Ihde, Guy Van Duser, Rick Peckham and several others. Rafael also took stage performance studies programs with Livingston Taylor and Lawrence Watson. While at Berklee Rafael focused heavily on Songwriting and Lyric Writing Classes where he studied with Stan Swiniarski and Pat Pattison.
Performs with Grammy Award Winner/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ernie Isley - Attended Master Classes under Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers and also sat in with Ernie Isley at his Caf Show Jam.
Performs with Legendary Guitarist Steve Morse - Attended Master Classes under Steve Morse ("Best Overall Guitarist" for Guitar Player Magazine for 5 years in a row and member of The "Guitar Player Hall of Fame.") of Kansas and Deep Purple and The Steve Morse Band and also performed with Mr. Steve Morse himself.
Headlines Concert at The Prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Rafael Espinoza Trio performs at the innovative MIT Campus.
Performs on The #8 Blues Podcast In The World - Rafael Espinoza performs and is interviewed on the radio show "A Redhead Spins The Blues" in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The show is listed as The #8 Blues Podcast In The World on Podomatic.
Records Debut EP Album "GOLDEN" - Rafael records his first album full of original songs with an All-Star Berklee Cast at The Record Co. Studio in Boston, MA.
Releases Debut EP Album "GOLDEN" - On August 25th, 2012, Rafael released his very first album at The Golden Pavilion in Golden, TX to a packed audience.
Records Debut Music Video for the title track "GOLDEN" - On the night of it's release, Rafael also shot his debut music video for his original song "GOLDEN".
Rafael Hits Online Stores World Wide - Following the release of "GOLDEN", Rafael's new music becomes available for purchase all over the world on all the major online stores such as Amazon and iTunes, etc.
Becomes a Disc Jockey On Berklee's College Radio Station - Rafael begins to co-host a radio show Every Friday Morning from 10am-12pm EST called: "This is Now: Friday Late Morning Edition" on The BIRN (Berklee Internet Radio Network.)
Starts own show on Berklee's College Radio Station - Rafael starts his very own solo show on The BIRN entitled "BLUES POWER". Rafael operated this show during his final two semesters at Berklee.
Headlines Own Concert at The Berklee Performance Center - For his Final Show in Boston,
Rafael Espinoza Headlined his own concert in the prestigious Berklee Performance Center on Tuesday June 4th, 2013 at 9:15pm.
The Berklee Performance Center is the largest venue on the Berklee College of Music Campus and is one of the top venues in all of Boston, Massachusetts.
Rafael had his All-Star Berklee Band backing him up while also having some notable faculty joining him on stage as his special guests.
The Concert was also broadcasted all over the world via the internet.
Performs at The Prestigious T-Bone Walker Blues Festival - On the weekend of June 21-22 of 2013 Rafael Espinoza took the stage at The Prestigious T-Bone Walker Blues Festival in Linden, TX.
This was a 2 Day Festival and Rafael Espinoza performed both nights!
June 21st - Mid South Stage
June 22nd - Music City Texas Theater
Interviews Los Lonely Boys - Rafael Espinoza got the special opportunity to meet and Interview Grammy Award Winning Texican Rock & Roll Trio Los Lonely Boys at The Outside The Box Music Festival in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday July 13th 2013.
Graduates from Berklee College of Music - Rafael Espinoza Graduated with Academic Honors “Magna Cum Laude” at the Top Music School In The World, Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in August 2013. Rafael received his Bachelor's Degree in "Professional Music".
He also graduated with Music Legends Annie Lennox, Carole King, and Willie Nelson who were honored with Doctoral Degrees at The 2013 Berklee Commencement Ceremony.
Releases "The Bigfoot Boogie" Music Video - In support of "Bigfoot Meets Nature Fest" happening in Mineola, TX, Rafael was asked to write a song about Bigfoot!
Rafael was up for the challenge and wrote "The Bigfoot Boogie!" The video was shot and directed in Downtown Mineola, TX by Josh Pogue of The County Road Film Company.
Opens Up For Wes Jeans - Opens for Texas Blues Legend Wes Jeans in Tyler, TX.
Performs at The World Renowned Blues Capitol of Texas - For the first time, Rafael Espinoza performs at Antone's in Austin, TX on November 4th, 2013.
Wins The Heart Of Texas Blues Challenge -
The Rafael Espinoza Band Wins The "Best Blues Band In The State Of Texas" Title at Antone's in
Austin, TX where they competed against the state’s Top Blues Bands on November 4th, 2013.
Records 2nd Album Entitled "BRIGHTER DAY" - Brighter Day is Rafael’s second album, but his first official full length LP album which is jam packed with high energy, positive original music.
Releases New Album "BRIGHTER DAY" - In honor of the new album, Rafael Espinoza will have a
"BRIGHTER DAY" CD Release Party Concert - Live @ The Mineola Gazebo in Mineola, TX on December 7th, 2013. Brighter Day hits online stores world wide on December 10th, 2013.