Roberto Juan Rodriguez Composer and Percussionist

Roberto Juan Rodriguez is a bona fide innovator, that rare musician whose creative vision …breathes joy and melancholy with tremendous emotional clarity.
Tom Jurek All Music Guide

Born in East Havana Cuba, and raised in Miami , percussionist and composer Roberto Rodriguez brings groundbreaking new music through his cross-cultural roots. Drawing upon his influences across the board of traditional Cuban music roots to contemporary genres of world music and Sephardic music, pop, jazz and improvisation, electronic, classical, he is one of the most versed performers and intriguing composers today.


Roberto Rodriguez was born in El Vedado Habana, Cuba. He studied violin, piano and trumpet at Caturla Conservatory of Music in Habana, and trumpet and drumset from his father, trumpeter and arranger Roberto Luis Rodriguez. Roberto began playing professionally drumset at the age of 13 in Miami with his fathers ensembles as well as Israel “ Cachao “ Lopez. He received full scholarship to the music program at Univ. of Miami.

Sexteto Roberto Rodriguez:

Gilad Harel – clarinet, Bernie Minoso (formely with Paul Simon and MD for Tito Puente) – bass, Jonathan Keren – violin, Uri Sharlin – accordion, Igor Arias Baro – Congas & Bongos, Roberto Rodriguez – bandleader/composer/percussion

Awards and Grants:

MAP Fund 2013, New Music USA 2013, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2013, Queens Council on the Arts/QCA Fund Recipient 2010, Festiladino Jerusalem Song Composer Finalist, BBC Radio 3 Best World Music Award Recipient 2007 Medioni/Rodriguez, Arts International Grantee, American Music Awards Recipient (MSM), Grammy Awards Nominee (MSM)

Performances with Cuban Jewish All Stars:

Beit Avi Chai Jerusalem2011,2012,2013, Great Synagogue Denmark 2012, Red Sea Jazz Festival 2011, Krakow Jewish Cultural Festival 2008,2009,2010, Lincoln Center David Rubinstein Atrium, The Jewish Museum, Concertgebouw Holland, Barbican Theater London, Malta Jazz Festival, Sines Musicas do Mundo Portugal, Museum of Jewish Heritage NYC, Skirball Center LA, Istanbul Jazz, Slovenia Jazz Festival,

Features and Reviews

Village Voice Top 10 cd’s of 2011 for Timba Talmud, Village Voice Honorable Mention 2011 for The First Basket, Down Beat Best 100 cd’s 2000-2010 for El Danzon de Moises, EK Best10 cd’s WIRE-UK 2007, The World NPR, All Songs Considered NPR, Modern Drummer, Downbeat Magazine, All About Jazz NY, Washington Post, Jazziz, Vibrations , Signal to Noise, All Music Guide, Boston Globe, Le Monde, The Guardian UK, Jerusalem Report, The Jewish Forward, Time Out NY, Ethnomusicology Vol 51-No 1-Winter 2007,

 Performed with:

Maurce El Medioni, Rufus Wainwright, Joe Jackson, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Celia Cruz, Israel “CACHAO” Lopez, Paquito D’Rivera, Julio Iglesias, Miami Sound Machine, Paul Simon, TBone Burnett Lloyd Cole, Ruben Blades, Larry Coryell, Dr. L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Kim Karnes, Phoebe Snow, Dianne Shur, Lester Bowie, Wadada Leo Smith, Irving Fields


Oz the Great and Powerful (Disney)

Havana Curveball (Patchwork Films)

The First Basket (Tzadik)

Selected Discography:

Roberto Rodriguez ~ Aguares ~Timba Talmud ~ Baila! Gitano Baila! ~El Danzon de Moises (Tzadik), Maurice El Medioni meets Roberto Rodriguez: Descarga Oriental, (Piranha), Rufus Wainwright- Want (Geffen), Jessie Harris Los Ferdinandos (Blue Note), Joe Jackon Live – Two Rainy Nights (Sony), Marc Ribot, & Los CubanosPpostizos and !Muy Divertido! (Atlantic ), John Zorn, Taboo & Exile (Tzadik), Miami Sound Machine, Into the Light and Cuts both ways (Epic )

Roberto plays Vater, Evans,Yamaha and Paiste 

BASS –1 Gallien Krueger or 1 Hartke Amp or 1 Hartke Cabinet w/ 4 – 10″ speakers 1-Vocal mic

CONGAS – 3 Congas LP,1-Vocal mic

GRAND PIANO-Grand piano


ORGAN-1 B3 Hammond or Roland V-Combo or Korg Hammond Amps: Fender Deluxe Reverb, fender Vibrolux or Fender Twin Keyboard stand

CLARINET 1-DI box 1-mic

 VIOLIN –1-DI box 1-mic

PERCUSSION KIT MICS-1 vocal mic, 2 overhead mics, 1 bass drum mic, 1 left foot cowbell mic

DRUMS Yamaha-1- 20″ Bass Drum w double tom tom mount,1-14 inch wood snare, 1-14 inch Floor Tom 3-boom stands, 1- snare stand, 1-bass drum pedals, 1-17″ crash cymbal,  drum stool

MUSIC STANDS- 5-Music Stands