"Extremely talented musician with an innate ability to entertain."
- Devin G. from Pottstown, PA ON 7/29/2017
"This band is amazing and charismatic!"
- Denisha J. from Malvern, PA on 9/22/2017
"Your cd is a work of art... This album deserves the best independent album of the year. I been jamming to it since i been back. We got to get you a show in Atlanta....pls support Rafa Ponde "Afrikabahia" beautiful album in Portuguese...."
- DJ Barry Walker from Atlanta
Rafael Pondé is a visionary with a passion for music from around the world, most especially brazilian music. He has recorded 8 albums, lots of singles and collaborated with many different artists and producers. Ranging from producer Hans Martin Buff (Prince , Joss Stone, Scorpions), american Grammy awarded pianist Bill Anschell, Natiruts (Brazil), colombian band El Caribe funk, among others. His music performances and teaching projects are influenced by brazilian music and its fusion with another styles of music. Rafael is a multi- instrumentalist, singer- songwriter, record producer and music educator. As a record producer he has been producing songs for artists such as: Omni MC (Philadelphia), Spenser Michaels (Philadelphia), Desanguashington (Washington DC), Cissa Paz (Washington DC), Ana Souza (Washington DC), Diamba (Brazil), Mununu (Brazil), Natiruts (Brazil) among others.
His explosive performances feature a hybrid of rhythms, ranging from different styles of global music. Originally from Salvador, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, he also promotes social justice and fights for human rights with his songs and speeches. Rafael started his career in 1996 as a guitar player, songwriter and producer in the band Diamba in his hometown. With this band Rafael opened shows in Brazil for acts like: O Rappa, Jota Quest, Men at Work, Steel Pulse, Gregory Issacs, The Wailers, Culture among other important international bands. In 1999 he participated in the Bahian Music Festival by University of Vitória da Conquista. There he and the Curupira band won the blessing of Waly Salomão, one of the greatest "Tropicalia" poets. This led to Rafael being placed in the hall of the greats "Novissimos baianos.” Waly traveled in 1999 with the young Rafael and the Curupira band to São Paulo to record the program "Música Brasileira" in the studios of Trama, with João Marcelo Bôscoli, the son of the legendary Elis Regina.
In 2005, he was invited to tour for 2 years with Natiruts, the biggest Brazilian Reggae band. In 2009 Rafael recorded in Germany the solo album "Sorriso de flor" with Hans Martin Buff.
Rafael has been touring extensively in Europe, United States and Latin America. He has played in important music festivals as the Weltkulturfestival in Germany in 2010, among others. In 2016 Rafael was elected as "Brazilian cultural ambassador" for the program "Partners of the Americas" (Founded in 1964 by JFK) from the American department of State. Rafael is a grandchild of Humberto Porto, one of the greatest brazilian composers from the 30s and 40s in Brazil. Humberto is the composer of the marchinha "A jardineira", a massive brazilian classic, among others.
In 2020 Rafael started releasing a series of Singles, one of them has been the song "Cartagena" feat Melogia that upon its release on July, got placed in three Spotify editorial playlists and has been widely praised around the world. The production of Cartagena had Camilo Parra (Colombia) on Flute, Melogia (Puerto Rico) Vocals, Raudelis Cisneiros (Cuba) percussion, Dariel Peniazek (USA) on Tres and Lucas Pondé (Brasil) on Bass.