Rafael Zaldivar was born in Camagüey, Cuba. Coming from a family of musicians, he started playing percussion and piano at age 10 and pursued his undergraduate studies at the Superior Art Institute of Havana. Moving to Canada at age 22, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montreal and a Master’s degree at McGill University within three years. During his musical career, Rafael has had the opportunity to learn with the great Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Greg Osby, and to play with the excellent Steve Coleman, Francisco Mela and Danilo Perez. He has also had the pleasure of meeting the great Herbie Hancock in Havana, where the two men shared a highly instructive conversation on the subject of music. Nowadays, he performs in various concert halls and at festivals around Canada.