AJ Rafael
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AJ Rafael

Band Pop Acoustic


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"Music Maker"

Music is in the genetic makeup of 17-year-old A.J. Rafael of Moreno Valley.
Special to The Press-Enterprise
A.J. Rafael, 17, of Moreno Valley, raised $9,000 for St. Patrick
Catholic Church in Moreno Valley with a choir concert.
A.J.'s father, Arturo, was a director of several choirs
before he died in 1999. His mother, Shirley, took over
directing after his father's death.
A.J. said he counts his dad, who taught him to play piano,
as one of his biggest influences.
"I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps," A.J. said.
"Pretty much, he's my No. 1 inspiration."
In October, he brought his life full circle, directing a choir
concert of his own at St. Patrick Catholic Church in
Moreno Valley.
The Canyon Springs High School senior has released an album with his band and
performed his pop-based dinner music live, singing and playing piano, most recently at a
Martin Luther King Jr. benefit concert in Riverside.
"I just love how I can put my own feelings into it, and my own personal ideas," he said of
writing songs.
A.J. put together the "No Day But Today" choir concert with his mother's help and raised
$9,000 for St. Patrick church. The concert featured the new MoVal Concert Chorale,
OVID, his father's former Sanlahi Choir and A.J., and drew 800 people.
Other notable milestones for A.J. include finishing his first album in December 2005. He
produced the album himself and plays all the instruments.
"It's a lot of work doing it by yourself," he said.
What made cutting the album harder was trying to balance it with several advancedplacement
classes at school, but all that hard work afforded him to take it easier his senior
year. He is taking fewer classes, which allows him to concentrate on his music and get
ready for college, as he is planning to attend Riverside Community College, transferring
to a music college after that.
For now, A.J. plans to keep performing and directing. His next gig is a benefit concert at
his school set for 7 p.m. March 8 and 9. He will conduct the MoVal Concert Chorale and
perform his songs, jazz and show tunes.
Information: http://myspace.com/ajrafael
Reach Jennifer Whitaker by e-mail at jwhitaker@PE.com, by phone at 951-567-2403 and
by fax at 951-485-2852. - Press Enterprise


I stream most of my music on Myspace.com/ajrafael. I put out an album in 2005 that I produced and designed myself, and printed it through discmakers.com.

My most known singles are: How's San Diego Pauli (2005), My Soldier (2005), and Starlit Nights (2007).



Bio: Born in the city of Los Angeles, Arthur Joseph (AJ) Rafael has grown up with music all around. His dad taught many choirs while his mom was a member in all of them. He grew up around so many musically talented people. AJ began piano lessons at the age of four. His dad passed away from surgical complications when he was ten-years-old, so AJ took his father's place as the accompanist for his church at the time, St. Patrick's Catholic Church. AJ has been playing the piano there ever since.

AJ Rafael started his singing career in the summer of 2004, when he wrote his first song, "How's San Diego Pauli". It wasn't until the beginning of the year 2005 when he performed at his first show and gained the respect of local bands in Moreno Valley. He began to play in local cities, including San Diego, in which he gained much respect for in the music scene. He produced and recorded his own album in his garage and released it in December of that year. Before the release, he used the popular networking website MySpace.com as a tool to showcase his new songs to his friends and fans. By the time of the release, half of the songs were already known by many.

During the year of 2006, AJ played at many more events, including Peace, Love, & GK at Cal State San Bernardino, and acoustic events at Otay Ranch High School. 2006 was also the year of the beginning of the MoVal Concert Chorale (MVCC), a choir which he founded and is currently directing. AJ put together a choir concert which raised $8,000+ for his church, St. Patrick's, and it featured the new MVCC.

AJ hopes that 2007 will bring him closer to being known all over the music industry for his talents and blessings.