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Raffy’s Café – a new home for live music


Multi-talented Vancouver musician Raffy Ramiro – better known as Raffy Swap One – recently moved to Winnipeg and has gained much attention here from fans of live music. And soon those fans will get a lot more of what they love when Raffy’s Café Live Music Restaurant opens on the corner of Ellice Avenue and Wall Street. Raffy and his partner, Marienette Mallari, open their doors on Friday, September 14 with a concert featuring folk music legend Heber Bartolome.

Then, on Friday, September 28, Raffy’s Café will feature some of his Vancouver friends in a concert of jazz, pop, rock and new wave music, followed by another show on Saturday, September 29 to celebrate Marienette’s birthday at Petrus Hall, 2624 Inkster Blvd. at 8:00 p.m.

A multi-instrumentalist and singer, Raffy is adept on guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, the Chinese pipa, saxophone, trombone, drums, and percussion. His musical obsession began in Lucena City, Quezon, at the age of nine when he would watch his brother play the guitar and then sneak in some practice time when his brother was not at home. At the age of 12 he surprised his family with a solo concert in his elementary school.

Through the years Raffy taught himself to play other instruments. In school, he studied architecture but the allure of music was always stronger and, before his graduation, it swept him away to see the world. Raffy traveled to Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and then later to Qingdao, China, where he founded a band with five other multi-talented musicians, calling themselves Swap Six.

The band hopped from country to country for several years until Raffy parted ways with his five band mates in 2014 to settle in Vancouver where he took on his solo stage name, “Swap One.” Since then he has toured across Canada, the United States and Europe, performing on occasion with artists such as Wency Cornejo of Afterimage, Lolita Carbon of Asin, and Heber Bartolome of Banyuhay. Just this past month, Raffy returned from shows in Estonia. On September 8, he will be one of the judges and a guest performer for the Golden Balangay Awards in Toronto.

Along the way Raffy has won numerous awards himself and he was also on the jury for the George Gershwin International Music Competition in New York.

Aside from performing, Raffy says he wants to share his talents with the youth and he plans to open a music school in the near future. In the short term, he plans to release an EP of original songs by the end of this year.

For tickets to the grand opening of Raffy’s Café featuring Heber Bartolome on September 14 and for information on Raffy’s concert at Petrus Hall, call Raffy at 778-939-9971 or Mary at 204-771-3914. Also find Raffy’s Music-Room on FaceBook.

– From a report by Gemma Derpo-Ofrasio Dalayoan

Raffy Heber

Petrus Hall