Oral History Information
Rafael Perez played a variety of instruments at an early age. He played saxophone in his school’s marching and jazz bands and with several local groups as a teenager. Right out of high school he was hired to play in Solomon Burke’s band as they played New Years' Eve 2000 in Italy. That and other gigs provided wonderful training for Rafael, whose passion for musical instruments led to a passion for instrument repair. He was hired by the San Diego County Music Exchange in 1998 to serve as their repair technician (following the store’s first tech Shelly Martin and then Rafael’s older brother). Not all instruments are easy to repair and Rafael sought to learn from the best techs he could. He feels one important element of his career is that even after decades on the bench he continues to learn.