Desert Island Jazz
Alfredo Rodriguez (2010)

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(Photo by Nacho Vasquez )

Born in Havana, Cuba, Alfredo Rodriguez trained at several classical music conservatories. He did not encounter jazz until his teens, when an uncle gave him a copy of Keith Jarrett's "Köln Concert".

Just out of his teens, in 2006 Alfredo was selected as one of only a dozen pianists from around the world to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It was at that festival that his exceptional playing struck a chord with legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who has always had a knack for spotting extraordinary talent.

Quincy invited Alfredo to come to the USA to pursue a career in music, something that would prove difficult for Alfredo, more so than most: it always difficult to leave home, even without considerations of the relations between the USA and Cuba. Nonetheless, Alfredo chose to, and was able to, follow Quincy's advice.

Although he has been in the US less than two years, Alfredo has already performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz, Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, among others. He made his first European tour last summer, and among his many international trips this year were two to China, with a third beginning next week.

The San Jose Mercury News wrote that Alfredo "sounds the way Monk might have sounded had he been born in Chick Corea's body, and raised on a diet of Bach, Chopin and Stravinsky in a Havana conservatory".

And Quincy Jones says “He is very special—and I do not say that easily, because I have been surrounded by the best musicians in the world my entire life.” Alfredo is one of the best.

Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Beny Moré The Voice and Work of Beny Moré Dolor y Perdon Milan
# 2 Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall Evidence Blue Note
# 3 J.S. Bach The Glenn Gould Edition—The Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1 Prelude and Fugue Number 9 in E Major Sony
# 4 Olivier Messiaen "Quartet for the End of Time", Myung-Whun Chung Liturgy of Crystal Deutsche Grammophon
# 5 Bill Evans and Lee Konitz Play the Arrangements of Jimmy Giuffre Palo Alto Lonehill
# 6 Hermeto Pascoal Brazilian Adventure Guizos Muse
# 7 Bud Powell The Definitive Bud Powell Celia Verve
# 8 Frank Emilio Flynn Barbarisimo Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga Milan
         
Book José Marti, "La Edad de Oro" ("The Golden Age")
         
Luxury Item A piano
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