We had the good fortune of connecting with Avi Rafael and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Avi, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being successful in your field, surrounding yourself with the very best in the music industry, and touring with your music requires two things – hard work and self-awareness. Hard work is the key to advancement in any aspect of life, and self-awareness as your compass to show where you stand and where to keep going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For the past decade, I’ve been performing all around the US, Europe and more. I’m a professional musician based in Los Angeles, California. I play saxophone and other wind instruments, I’m a live performer, composer, arranger, producer, and teacher, and I am an endorser of a great saxophone and accessories company called Theo Wanne. I’ve been studying and playing music for more than two decades now. I’ve graduated from the Jazz Institute program at Rimon School of Music, and also from Berklee College of Music. I was fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industries such as Avishai Cohen, Phil Wilson, Alon Oleartchik, David Krivoshei, Ruslan Sirota, Enrico Macias, Moments Band Int, Mordy Ferber, Rockville, Lior Ozeri, Billy Cobham, Alon Tamir, Tom Oren, Yoni Rechter, Billy Buss, Yogev Gabay, Adi Rotem, Tia Fuller and more… Over the years I’ve learned that whether if it’s working with famous artists, or performing with my own music, I should always aspire to stay in tune with whatever the situation requires. For years I had to (and still do) practice the ability to play what’s on my mind, or whatever works best with the music at any given moment. That’s the key to staying relevant and for finding success as a musician.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of the most iconic and touristic spots are nice to check out for the first time. Places like Venice Beach and Santa Monica pier, Hollywood Blvd, Griffith Park, and maybe the studios too. After getting these out of the way, there are a lot of great hiking trails around LA. It’s a very diverse area in many terms, and in terms of scenery in particular. Within 1-2 hours of a drive, you can get to forested areas or a complete desert. You can find hot springs, lakes and the ocean, and In the winter you can go skiing too. In terms of restaurants – I’ve been to some amazing places and there are quite a few of these around. There are tons of excellent Mexican restaurants. There are lots of vegan places, and some famous fast food or burger places are also a nice option to go for every now and then…
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was very fortunate to have worked with some great teachers, which were not only strict but very passionate and inspiring. I was also surrounded by music-loving people who were going through their musical journey alongside me. Lastly, I had my idols to look up to and remind myself that I have everything I need to advance. I might even have a lot more in life than they did – hence – get to work!
Alice Floyd, Yarin Mizrahi