Michael grew up in a world filled with music. “We lived in Queens for the first nine or ten years of our lives, and our dad always had a drum set set up in the living room, with miscellaneous instruments lying around…He had an alto saxophone that my brother and I used to just honk on.” After the family moved to Miami, FL in 1987, Michael decided to focus his curiosities on the trumpet, setting his sights upon the symphonic band. Before long however, he and his brother (the pianist Robert Rodriguez) began gaining notoriety in improvising groups throughout the region.
Nonetheless, the trumpeter returned to New York before the end of college, and began a lengthy immersion in the local scene. “It wasn’t until about 2004 that I got a phone call from Charlie Haden,” says Michael. “I came recommended to him through Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who’s an amazing pianist from Cuba. That was my first break…it kind of just went on after that.” In addition to his tenures with Haden and Rubalcaba, Michael has also worked with Eric Reed, Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, and countless others. He and Robert co-lead the Rodriguez Brothers Band, and have released several recordings together.
Michael has appeared at The Jazz Gallery in various configurations over the years, and we are pleased to present his quartet, featuring the saxophonist John Ellis, the bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and the drummer Rodney Green, to our new home (1160 Broadway) this Friday night.
Watch the Rodriguez Brothers performing “Promenade in Gitmo” live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.