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Alfredo Rodriguez: “I am very happy to have found what I came to this world to do – playing music”

He is one of the brightest and most emotional jazz musicians of the new generation, with a strong presence on stage – his concerts have unanimously been pronounced legendary. He is growing in front of our eyes with every album he releases, revealing more of his multi-faceted talent, he has a personal story deserving of being filmed for the silver screen. Pianist Alfredo Rodriguez was born in Cuba, and since 2009 he has been living in the USA. Three years earlier he was among the 12 pianist from all around the world selected to take part at the Montreux Jazz Festival. At a private dinner at the home of the festival’s founder Claude Nobs he met Quincy Jones – it turned out to be a fateful life-changing experience. “The first piece of advice he gave me when I came to the United States, was to follow my dreams, to be honest with myself, to keep my roots alive,” Afredo Rodriguez said in a Jazz FM interview was the wisdom his mentor shared.

In 2011 the Cuban pianist debuted with the “Sounds of Space” album, and for one of the tracks from his second album “The Invasion Parade” (2014) he received a Grammy Award nomination. In March of this year Alfredo released his third album “Tocororo”, praised by audience and critics alike. Deservedly it found its place among The Observer’s 10 best jazz albums of the year so far.

“For me life is music. When I create music I am creating music from my life, I’m creating from how I improvise every day in order to keep living,” Alfredo Rodriguez said in this Jazz FM interview in which he also talks about his new album “Tocororo”, the support by Quncy Jones, his work with Bulgarian bass player Petar Slavov Jr., and also the situation in Cuba. He sums up: “I am very happy to have found what I came to this world to do – playing music.” Words that leave no doubt about his dedication to art.

  • You can listen to Tanya Ivanova’s interview with Alfredo Rodriguez using the “Audio” button.

Photographer: Anna Webber

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