Song:Crossing The Border
Album:Sounds Of Space
Alfredo Rodriguez is the latest in the rich tradition of Cuban jazz pianists. If you like Chucho Valdez or Gonzalo Rubalcaba, you will also like Rodriguez. And the great thing is he is being mentored by music legend Quincy Jones. He was born Oct. 7, 1985 in Havana, Cuba. His father was a singer who led his own band. Rodriguez trained in classical piano as a child. Then as a teen, he played in his father's band. He received Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert album as a gift and that opened his eyes to improvisation. Rodriguez studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte and he won several piano competitions. Rodriguez was invited to play at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival. Festival founder Claude Nobs arranged for Rodriguez to perform in his home for Quincy Jones. Jones took him under his wing. Rodriguez moved to the US in 2009 and he appeared on the song Better City, Better Life with Chinese composer Tan Dun and veteran session singer Siedah Garrett for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Then Rodriguez started playing the jazz festival circuit. Jones got him a record deal with Mack Avenue Records. Sounds Of Space is his 2012 debut CD. Rodriguez wrote all the songs. The best known musician to work with him on this album was drummer Francisco Mela who has worked with Joe Lovano and Esperanza Spalding. Other musicians are Ernesto Vega on sax, Peter Slavov on bass and Michael Olivera on percussion. Rodriguez' new CD Tocoroco will be released on Mar. 4. So no doubt he will tour to support the album. Be sure to check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Alfredo Rodriguez performing Crossing The Border in Quincy Jones' living room (!). Take note of the Oscar on the piano.