Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rafi was raised in the capital city of Puerto Rico. His parents were well aware that their son was musically inclined at a young age. They also stressed that their son receive a good education and sent him to study in private schools. Thay also wanted their son to learn about classical music and contracted the services of violin teacher Eduardo Geigel to teach Rafi how to play the violin. When Rafi wasn't in school or taking violin classes, he would spend hours on the family piano until he finally taught himself how to play. He perfected his piano playing by taking piano leasons from the maestro Pedro Escabi.
During the 1960s, he enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where he studied humanities. As a student in the university, he was exposed to the works of some of Puerto Rico's greatest poets, Antonio Machado, Julia de Burgos and Juan Antonio Corretjer. The works of these poets greatly influenced Rafi and where to serve as the basis for his inspiration.
Rafi debuted as a musician by recording modernized versions of classical danzas. He recorded "Aņoranzas", "Carta a Juan Morel" and "Caricias". The recordings were a success and Rafi received the acceptance and recognition from the public and fellow musicians alike.
During the 1970s, Rafi composed many songs that were recorded by the following singers, Danny Rivera, Marco Antonio Muņiz, Jose Feliciano, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda and many others. Rafi recorded 'Sin tu Amor" (Without your Love), "Cuando el amor germina", "Repica ese guiro y canta" and "Pa' cortase las venas". He also participated with dozens of Latin American singers in the recording of "Somos el Projimo" (We're your neighbor) which was the Latin-American version of "We Are The World".
Rafi wrote two books of poetry. The first book was titled "En un Mundo de Cuerdos" and the second book "Comentario desde el Soberao", published by the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. In 1999, he recorded "Comentario desde el Soberao" where he decribes the situations and characters in his book. This was the first time that a poet/musician combined his poems and music together.
Among the many awards and recognitions bestowed upon Rafi are the following, The Agueybana de Oro for composer of the year 1981 and the Outstanding Singer Award in the Record Festivals from 1983 to 1985.
In 1998, Rafi was named by Puerto Rico's governer Pedro Rosello to join the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture an dof the Luis A. Ferre Center for the Performing Arts (Centro de Bellas Arts). In 2001, he ran for the position of president of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico, however he withdrew from the race. Rafi currently remains politically active in the party.
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