Rafael Karlen is an award-winning composer, saxophonist, and arranger. He has continued to build a reputation as one of the more creative, exciting and surprising musicians on the Australian music scene. His music has been performed by small jazz groups, rock and pop ensembles, big bands through to chamber orchestras and string quartets. He has performed throughout Australia and New Zealand, and in Canada, Cambodia, England, Scotland and Sweden.
Awards and recognition include an ARIA Nomination, a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship, Composer-in-Residence in the Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, an ABC Jazz Commission, APRA Professional Development Award in Jazz, finalist in the Australian Jazz Bell Awards, nominations for the Freedman Fellowship from the Music Council of Australia, and an Australian Art Music Award for Excellence in Jazz with the Berardi/Foran/Karlen Trio.
Rafael’s music has been performed by musicians and ensembles including The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, Jo Lawry, Megan Washington, Andrea Keller, Kristin Berardi, The Australian Voices, Camerata-Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, Trichotomy and Expressions Dance Company, Julian Arguelles (U.K), and Pascal Schumacher (Lux.). In addition to leading his own groups, Rafael has performed with Soul, Jazz, Pop, Folk and Classical artists including Renee Geyer, Archie Roach, Ed Kuepper, Paul Mac, James Morrison, Tenzin Choegyal, Katie Noonan, and Zac Brown (USA).
Rafael is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and from the University of York in England after receiving the Lord Mayor’s Fellowship for Young and Emerging Artists. He is a current PhD Candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.