Rafael Méndez (March 26, 1906 - September 15, 1981) was a popular Mexican virtuoso solo trumpeter.Méndez was born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán, Mexico. As a young child, he was the cornetist for Pancho Villa. His most famous recording, "Moto Perpetuo", was written in the eighteenth century by Paganini for violin and features Mendez double-tonguing continuously for over 4 minutes while circular breathing to give the illusion that he is not taking a natural breath while playing.From 1950 to 1975, Méndez was a full time soloist, performing as many as 125 concerts per year. He was also very active as a recording artist, with many of his recordings now available on compact disc.Méndez was legendary for his tone, range, technique and unparalleled double tonguing. His playing was characterized by a brilliant tone, wide vibrato and clean, rapid articulation. His repertoire was a mixture of classical, popular, jazz, and Mexican folk music. He contributed many arrangements and original compositions to the trumpet repertoire. His Scherzo in D minor is often heard in recitals, and has been recorded by David Hickman. Mendez is known as the "Heifetz of the Trumpet."The music building of Arizona State University, which houses the Rafael Méndez Library, was established in 1993.In 2006, the Los Angeles Opera paid tribute to Rafael Mendez by performing a work based on his life. A reviewer in The Los Angeles Times noted, "He has been called the greatest trumpet player of all time."