19 - August - 2017

Rafael & Energia Dominicana

Bachata - Latin - Merengue - Salsa - World
From Montreal, Quebec

BIO

 

(French and Spanish versions are available)

 

 Rafael & Energía Dominicana

 

 Rafael: Singer, Songwriter (SOCAN), Bandleader, Producer

 

 Montréal-Québec, Canada/Bani, Dominican Republic

 

 Oye ke lindo suena.....!

 

Rafael (Wilsikin Esteban Medina Arias)  is a Montreal based singer, songwriter, bandleader and producer, born in Bani, Dominican Republic, an hour’s drive south of Santo Domingo. Bani has been called the city of poets, and is known as the Dominican Republic’s cradle of baseball: many of its sons have gone on to play major league such as Miguel Tejada, Vladimir Guerrero, Cristian    Guzman, and Erick Aybal. 

Rafael performs and composes different genres of Latin music repertoire, but he is known mostly as a merenguero and bachatero, as composer and interpreter of music from the Dominican  Republic. He started singing when he was 5 years old, in school and at church. Rafael is from a family of 11 brothers and sisters- he got his love of music from his mother, Orquidia Arias, who used to sing on Bani radio ‘La Voz del Sur. Rafael’s father, Patricio Medina, was an Agricultor. Rafael helped his father with the land and also worked in carpentry. Rafael was inspired by musicians such as José José, Emmanuel, and Pedro Fernandez with his song ‘La Mochila Azul’. Rafael is inspired by Fernando Villalona ‘El Mayimbe’, Sergio Vargas and Alex Bueno because of their great talent, charisma and character. 



Rafael was a back up vocalist with Dominican bands such as Zona Libre, but he mostly dedicated himself to writing his own songs. When he first arrived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, he met Francisco ‘Kuky’ Carbuccia, the Musical Director of Montreal’s Estofa Band and Rafael became the group’s lead singer. Estofa Band performed in many theatres, festivals and clubs in Montreal and Toronto, including opening act performances for renowned groups such as Aventura, Grupo Mania, Monchy & Alexandra and Toño Rosario. Estofa Band recorded a compact disc that featured Rafael’s vocals and composition work. Rafael has composed music for other artists: two of Rafael’s compositions, ‘La Colegiala’ and ‘Nena’ appear on EMI-Virgin recording artist Papa AP’s compact disc ‘Assessina’. 

Rafael has performed as a lead and/or guest vocalist with a variety of Latin music ensembles at festivals and venues in Quebec such as Chicoutimi, Magog, and Mont Tremblant, as well as at a variety of Dominican Republic community events and festivals including the Festival International del Merengue de Montreal. Rafael sang back up vocals for international touring artists Cuco Valoy, Aramis Camilo, Charlie Rodriguez, Benny Sadel and Sandy Reyes during their Montreal appearances.



In 2008, Rafael embarked on a solo career as a bandleader with his live orchestra 'Rafael & Energia Dominicana': performances include the historic Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympics/Paralympics-Whistler Live; Le Festival International Nuits D’Afrique, La TOHU-La Falla, Festival International Rythmes de Monde du Saguenay, Calgary Expo Latino, and for a variety of events with the Bureau de Tourisme République Dominicaine in Montreal. In 2011, Rafael was invited to perform on the Quebec television musical variety show, Belle et Bum, for their 25th Anniversary special. 

Rafael performs in a duo formation with the renowned Montreal-Haitian guitarist, Toto Laraque: 'Toto & Rafael: Sentimiento’. Toto & Rafael have performed live to air on Radio Canada Internacional, and concert appearances include Cordes a Cordes Series of Les Productions Nuits D'Afrique, and concerts for Haitian Earthquake Relief. Toto & Rafael were invited to Concordia University's Music Department by Professor Jeri Brown to give a seminar about the music of Hispaniola, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  

Rafael does ongoing volunteer work with Sun Youth-Jeunesse au Soleil of Montreal, Heritage Home Rehabilitation Centre in Huntington, Quebec. He has also performed in support of the Canadian Cancer Association’s Relay for Life event. 

In 2010, Rafael's debut independent single, a ballad 'Sembrando Amor' held the #1 chart position for 10 consecutive weeks at the Montreal Spanish language tropical radio program on MIKE-FM: 'Romanticos with Kiko & Dany'.

 

Rafael (Rafael & Energía Dominicana) released his debut single "Bailame" on January 25, 2013. “Bailame” is the Quebecois-Dominican singer’s original merengue with a contemporary popular sound. "Bailame" was produced by Rafael, Pascal Laraque and Kuky Carbuccia in Montreal. It is available on the Vivo Musique Internationale (Vivo Musique) label anddistributed digitally by DEP Distribution Ltd-Universal Music Canada- Believe Digital.  The song is the first single from Rafael & Energia Dominicana's debut full length album.

 

Listen to MP3s

Watch A Video

Gigs

Tourism Board of the Dominican Republic/Hotel Omni - Montreal, Quebec Canada - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Maison de la culture - Montreal, Quebec Canada - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dominican Republic Independence Day Fiesta - Montreal, Quebec Canada - Saturday, February 23, 2013

Festival International Nuits d'Afrique - Quebec, Quebec Canada - Saturday, July 21, 2012

Festival International des Rythmes du Monde - Chicoutimi, Quebec Canada - Friday, August 5, 2011

Vancouver Cultural Olympiad-Paralympics - Whistler, British Columbia Canada - Friday, March 19, 2010

Band Members

Rafael Wilsikin Medina
Toto Laraque
Juan Romero
Gabriel Evangleista
Jorge Guzman
Gregory Placencia
Eddy Estrella
Philippe Bouffard
Ray Olivera.

Manager

Glenda Marlene Ruch (Glenda Rush)
Vivo Musique Internationale
www.vivomusique.com
Email: glendavivo@sympatico.ca
Phone: 514-276-6870
Mobile: 514-591-5406
Fax: 514-276-6870
6363 boulevard Saint Laurent, suite #212 Montreal, Quebec
Canada, H2S 3C3

Discography

Rafael & Energia Dominicana
Vivo Musique Internationale (DEP/FACTOR), 2013