For percussionist Rafael Pereira, music and food are both about sharing. That spirit of “community and collecting people” is one aspect of ATL Collective that drew the Sao Paulo native and now Grant Park resident to get involved with Collective shows. It’s also what inspired Rafael to open his Brazilian eatery and music venue Buteco. Music and food are his ways to “support the community and get supported back.”

As a touring musician and a go-to session percussionist, Rafael understands the many sides of the business. “Wearing different hats as an artist isn’t always fun,” he admits. “You just want to play music. Organization, promotion, and communication of a show is time consuming.” ‘

Between educational panels and the Hump Day Hang, he sees ATL Collective as providing great services and resources for other musicians, helping them see and understand the industry’s bigger picture and providing necessary community and connections to help them on their way.

Connection is a through line in Rafael’s approach to music and life. He describes the music scene of his adopted hometown of Atlanta as “close knit but well connected” and values the role the Collective plays building the music infrastructure in Atlanta. “You’re creating it for this environment,” he says. “It’s a web of community you’ve created.”

His favorite collective moment was performing Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, which felt like a “giant band of friends doing one thing for one purpose.”Rafael appreciates the close-knit, grounded community in Atlanta and sees value in its relative smallness as compared to New York and Los Angeles. ATL Collective is a pioneer in creating the local community by building meaningful and new relationships.

“There’s so much that we don’t know that exists in this environment, that we haven’t unpacked yet to connect everybody. Atlanta is a music city. He have to keep going.”