Rafael Pondé is a visionary with a passion for music from around the world most especially brazilian influenced music .He has recorded 6 albums 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, 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), Mununu (Brazil), Tamara Pessoa (Brazil) among others.
His explosive performances feature a hybrid of rhythms , ranging from different styles of global music mostly African influenced music. Originally from Salvador, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, he also promotes cultural understanding and combats racism through music.Rafael started his career in 1996 as a guitar player, songwriter and producer for the band Diamba in his hometown. With this band Rafael opened shows in Brazil for acts like: 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 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 2014 and 2015 Rafael won grants from Bahia and Brazil federal government to come to the USA to propagate Brazilian music and culture. Rafael has being touring the USA, Europe and Latin America, playing important festivals such as the Weltkulture festival in Germany in 2010, Brazilian Day Barcelona in 2009 among others .In 2016, Rafael was elected as "Brazilian cultural ambassador" for the program "Partners of America" (Founded in 1964 by JFK) from the American department of State. He is living now in the Washington DC area. His workshops, concerts and speeches share Brazilian culture and focus on building cultural understanding and overcoming racism through music and the arts.