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Cuban Pianist to Showcase Talents at the Edye in Santa Monica
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By Lookout Staff

July 25, 2016 -- Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez's music reflects the sense of adventure that led him to defect from Cuba and bring his hybrid sounds to Los Angeles six years ago.

Picture of Alfredo Rodriguez Photo by Anna Webber

On Friday, August 12, at 7:30 p.m., Rodriguez will perform selections from his polyphonic compositions, which "blend Afro-Cuban rhythms with Bach, Tango, Flamenco, and influences from all across the globe," at the The Edye at the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College, organizers said.

"It wasn't that I would've given up on music if I stayed in Cuba," said Rodriguez. "I definitely would've continued to do what I love, but it just wasn't the right environment for my music to flourish."

The concert is part of the Quincy Jones Presents series, which "focuses on jazz mentorships and creating opportunities for young artists," organizers said.

Jones -- the legendary producer, composer and 27-time Grammy® Award-winning artist -- discovered Rodriguez after the pianist performed for him at the home of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s founder and director, Claude Nobs.

After encouragement from Jones, Rodriguez defected through Mexico in 2009 and found himself in LA with "a suitcase filled with music, a sweater, and a pair of jeans," organizers said.

Rodriguez has since recorded three albums produced by Jones and played major venues around the world, including an appearance in Montreux where he played duets with fellow Latin pianist Chick Corea.

His new album, “Tocororo,” is named after the national bird of Cuba, which dies of sadness when it is caged.

“What I wanted to do in this recording was to open myself up to the world, while honoring my roots at the same time,” Rodriguez said.

"Just as the Tocororo needs room to fly, my music needed the platform and the opportunity to be heard by more people than would otherwise have been touched if I stayed. Because of its many restrictions, Cuba was my cage and it didn't allow me to spread my wings and do what I love on a larger scale."

In addition to Quincy Jones, The Broad Stage’s Jazz Council includes Grammy® Award-winning composer and A&M Records Co-founder Herb Alpert.

Jazz at The Broad Stage made possible by a gift from Richard and Lisa Kendall.

Rodriguez will perform an approximately 75-minute set with no intermission. General admission tickets are $35. For more information click here.

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