Rafael Mendes Barata, was born in September 26th, 1980, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started playing drums at the age of five. Throughout his childhood he was dedicated to Brazilian Popular Music, specially the Bossa Nova, whose influence came from his family members Roberto Mendes, his father and musician, and his brother and pianist Beto. Self-taught on drums, he recorded his first CD at the age of 14. He has won two International Brazilian Drums Festivals: 1st Batuka – At the age of 15, and the Batuka Masters 2000 at the age of 20.

Since then, Rafael has recorded with several internationally acclaimed artists including Rosa Passos, Eliane Elias, Kenny Barron, Edu Lobo, Leny Andrade, Lisa Ono, Angela Ro Ro, Paula Morelenbaum, Carol Sabóia, Amanda Brecker, Maúcha and Muiza Adnet, Andréa Dutra, Mônica Salmaso, Joyce, Alcione, Luís Melodia, Zizi Possi, Flávio Venturini, Leila Pinheiro, Ivan Lins, Antonio Adolfo, João Donato, JT Meirelles, Jaques Morelenbaum, Lula Galvão, Maurício Einhorn, Mario Adnet, Moacir Santos, Hélio Celso, Idriss Boudrioua, Osmar Milito, Durval Ferreira, Marcos Amorim, Daniel Garcia, Dave Liebman, Claudio Roditi, Guilherme Dias Gomes, Turi Collura, Spok Frevo, Hamilton de Hollanda, Marcos Valle, Raul de Souza, Mika Mori, Oscar Castro Neves, Dario Galante and others.

Rafael has also performed with such notable vocalists as Zezé Motta, Emilio Santiago, Zé Renato, Roberta Sá, Paula Santoro, Maúcha Adnet, Ney Matogrosso, the Singer/drummer Wilson das Neves, Leny Andrade, Alma Thomas, Chiara Civello (Italy), Jenny Robson (Finland), Esperanza Spalding and Milton Nascimento. … read more… http://www.rafaelbarata.com/biography.html