Fall 2015 Joe Bonamassa Torch Bearer Guitar Scholarship Winner: Rafael Picoli Xavier

Rafael Picoli Xavier with Guitar Program Chair, Stig Mathisen

Rafael Picoli Xavier with Guitar Program Chair, Stig Mathisen

The Musicians Foundation is pleased to announce the first-ever Joe Bonamassa Torch Bearer Guitar Scholarship has been awarded to MI Guitar Program student: Rafael Picoli Xavier.  The full ride scholarship was awarded based on a demonstration of overall outstanding musicianship, advanced skills, and the potential for developing a unique sound on the guitar.  The Brazilian native enters Musicians Institute with several years of experience playing and performing in the rock and metal genres.  

When asked why he chose to study at MI, Rafael shared: “The school has students from all around the world, so meeting and playing with lots of other musicians with diferent styles and cultures is an experience that is hard to get anywhere else.”

His future goals and aspirations are to “be able to make a living out of music. If I manage to do that, I’ll be happy for my entire life.  I’ll always work hard to improve as much as I can, and whatever opportunities that may come, will be the consequence of this dedication.”

Everyone at MI welcomes Rafael to the Guitar Program at MI, and congratulates him on winning this very prestigious award!

Special thanks to our longtime industry partner, great friend and supporter of music education, blues legend Joe Bonamassa and his non-profit Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Rafael with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

Joe Bonamassa in London 2015. Credit: Marty Moffatt

Joe Bonamassa in London 2015. Credit: Marty Moffatt

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