Hailed as "an exceptionally gifted jazz drummer" by French Newspaper Télérama, Raphael Pannier is a 28 year old drummer and percussionist currently based in New York City. Born and raised in Paris, France, he started playing drums at age 5 and performing professionally at age 13. At 18, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated with a Performance Degree, studying with some of the best teachers in the world: Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson Jr, Hal Crook, Ian Froman, Dave Samuels, Tiger Okoshi, Dave Santoro, Bob Gullotti, and many others.
At Berklee, Raphael met the jazz pianist Emil Afrasiyab, a National Artist from Azerbaijan, with whom he started touring from 2013 to 2015, playing a unique fusion between jazz and “Mugam”, the traditional music from Azerbaijan. Raphael then started an international career, playing in international jazz festivals such as Montreal (Canada), Baku (Azerbaijan), Paraty (Brazil), Paris (France), Tokyo (Japan), Las Palmas (Spain), Tallinn (Estonia), and venues such as Carnegie Hall (NYC), The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Lincoln Center (NYC), the Kursaal of Berne (Switzerland), the Apollo Theater (NYC) and more.
Growing up in both European and American cultures, Raphael developed the rare ability to play many musical styles as a high level. As a result, he has had the chance to work with many music masters such as Steve Wilson, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Aaron Goldberg, Marcos Valle, Eric Lewis, Lage Lund, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Francois Moutin, and more.
From 2015 to 2017, Raphael completed his Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC under the wing of the renowned educator John Riley. In 2016, he was awarded a full scholarship to attend the very competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C led by Jason Moran and Eric Harland. The same year, he also received a full scholarship to study with Mark Turner and Alex Sipiagin at the “Generations” workshop in Switzerland. He also won the first prize for the "Six Strings Theory Competition" organized by the legendary fusion guitarist Lee Ritenour, with whom he toured during August 2016, playing different festivals in the USA, recording for Lee’s next album, and performing at Blue Note Tokyo in Japan.
In 2018 Raphael Pannier released a new album as a co-leader of "The Euro-American Jazz Quartet", an all star jazz quartet featuring two Americans and two Europeans musicians: saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (USA), pianist Holger Marjamaa (Estonia), and bassist Benjamin Tiberio (USA).
In 2019, Raphael recorded his first album as a leader, featuring jazz greats Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone, production), Aaron Goldberg (piano), and François Moutin (upright bass).