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Jay Rodriguez - Brooklyn Connections

Jay Rodriguez -||- Brooklyn Connections [Pony Japan/Zoom, 2010]

Prolific. Prodigal. Profound. That is Jay Rodriguez. Sometimes the sound is explosive, wild and full of fury, other times his music aches with a passion that’s painful and bare. Always modest and reverent, Rodriguez harnesses the unbridled audacity of youth and melds it with the uncanny discipline of a hardened New York jazz veteran. Married to the song while sleeping with the groove, his sound sings of commitment to an ideal—it is spontaneity, culturally untethered and unpretentious, the excitement of far flung love at all costs. It is perfectionism kissed by chaos. — Michael Gelfand

Jay Rodriguez began his musical studies at the age of seven on clarinet and was playing lead alto with the late great Tito Puente by the age of fifteen. He graduated with the highest honors from New York City’s renowned High School for the Performing Arts (as featured in the film Fame). He went on to continue his studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the New School, but more importantly he studied life through music and music through life.

When asked about his childhood, he recollects how, “My saxophone guru, Mark Friedman tried to teach me how important it was to be a kid. Of course, I didn’t listen, so I was playing gigs constantly. I’d be coming home at 6 o’clock in the morning, then going to school. That was my childhood and I don’t regret it.”

It is with this focus and determination coupled with his natural prodigal abilities that Jay has been nominated twice for a Grammy under the best jazz solo category. He has performed or recorded with a diverse list of talent, all of whom represent the best in their respective genres. Improvising with Miles, rocking with Widespread Panic, grooving with Prince or jamming with his local NYC downtown peers Medeski, Martin and Wood, Jay is on the scene performing over 200 gigs a year.

Jay is also the musical director/founding member of New York City’s phenomenon Groove Collective. In recent years, the band has opened for and jammed with James Brown, backed Tupac Shakur (voted #2 all time live Hip Hop performance on MTV), and shared the stage with Isaac Hayes, Erykah Badu, The Roots and BB King among others. Groove Collective just returned from a 2002 tour of Europe featuring JB trombonist Fred Wesley, and a trip to Moscow with guest artist P-Funk Co-founder Bernie Worrell.

For more details, please visit http://www.jayrodriguez.com/

..:: Source: Jay Rodriguez.com ::..