Rafe Bradford – born in Chicago, Illinois Rafe started playing bass at age 11. Professional gigs started at age 16 with a Soul/Funk band whose members were twice his age. They played Night Clubs and Lounges where Rafe had to sit in a corner by himself at break time to keep the club owner from asking them to leave.
College followed where Rafe was a Double Bass Performance major at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. At University, Rafe performed in the University Symphony Orchestra under conductor Paul Vermel, and in the Jazz Big Band and Russian Folk Orchestra under the direction of the fabled John Garvey.
Rafe’s credentials span all genres performing with such artists as: Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Jim Scott, Lowen and Navarro, Nancy Wilson, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Joyner Morning Show, Alice Peacock, Patty LaBelle, Patti Austin, Michael McDermott, Mavis Staples, Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner, Aaron Hall, Al B. Sure, Najee, James Mack, and more. While Living in Los Angeles where was the bassist on Bonnie Hunts daytime talk show while focusing on recording studio work. Rafe has returned to Chicago and has been adding his sensitive and warm Bass Mastery to Guitarra Azul since 2017.
Photography by Steve Hudson