“I play what I live, and Coral Way is my new life,” states Rodriguez. “It is the name of the street on which, for the past 3 years, I have been composing this album, and now I’m excited that people from all over the world will finally get to hear it in an expansive way, with a full live band.”
On Coral Way, listeners can expect to hear the Rodriguez they’ve known and loved for years, but with a new twist. The album embodies the collective sound of Miami, blending Latin pop, timba, salsa, bachata, tango, reggaeton, and bolero. It’s a musical fusion that encompasses the diverse Latin community while celebrating individuality and fostering unity. It calls upon Rodriguez’s roots just as much as his newly-learned experiences, representing a new phase of life marked by his latest move from Los Angeles to Miami; the birth of his baby girl; and finally reuniting in the same city as his family, who now all live in Miami, following his departure from Cuba.
In his new home, Rodriguez took note of the limited cross-pollination and few collaborations that existed between mainstream Latin music and Latin jazz. Coral Way, which features guest vocalists Cimafunk and Alana Sinkëy, serves as the connective tissue between these worlds—an artistic statement for the diverse Latin community to be seen, be heard, and take pride in their history, while creating community through individuality.
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Rodriguez’s passion for music burned brightly despite the numerous restrictions imposed by his country. At a tender age, he faced discouragement from his first teacher, who dismissed him as devoid of talent. Undeterred, Rodriguez’s love for the piano persisted, even in the absence of an instrument at home. He resorted to painting piano keys on his parents’ dinner table to practice his scales—a testament to his determination and resourcefulness.
Eventually, Alfredo was invited to represent Cuba at the Montreux Jazz Festival, where he impressed Quincy Jones. Jones saw the immense talent in Rodriguez and extended an invitation to work together in the U.S. However, pursuing this opportunity meant leaving his family behind and embarking on a journey that would require relinquishing his Cuban citizenship.
Since then, Rodriguez has achieved remarkable milestones. He has graced prestigious stages worldwide and earned a Grammy® nomination for his track “Guantanamera” from the album The Invasion Parade. Additionally, he became the first non-Chinese artist to collaborate on the English version of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo theme song, working alongside esteemed musicians such as Tan Dun, Siedah Garrett, and Quincy Jones.
Beyond his accomplishments, Rodriguez’s ability to “play stories” on the keys allows him to connect with his listeners on a deeply personal level. His albums, including The Invasion Parade, Tocororo, and Duologue, reflect his memories of Cuba, his experiences as an immigrant, and his journey of self-discovery through music. He’s been featured by All Things Considered, Downbeat, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal among many others, and performed for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert.
Rodriguez continues to share his music along with his impactful message of perseverance and cross culturalization on an international tour, while sharing a variety of viral social media videos in which he plays well-known compositions in a Cuban timba style.