Alfredo Rodriguez’s ‘Parade’

Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodriguez has lined up a series of performances in support of his latest album, The Invasion Parade.  Beginning in February, Rodriguez will cover a wide expanse of the U.S., playing everywhere from Boston to Wichita to San Francisco.

Photo: Miguel Elizalde

Although Rodriguez is classically trained, having studied at Cuba’s Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan and the Instituto Superior de Arte, there was a time when the Havana-born artist was more interested in percussion than piano. However, that changed when he reached the age of 10 and chose to study piano. The son of a popular singer / celebrity of the same name, Rodriguez learned about contemporary music by playing in his father’s orchestra.

“I had a chance to perform every day, and write arrangements for all kinds of music: boleros, rock ’n’ roll, dance music, you name it,” Rodriguez said.  “That is where I learned the discipline of being a professional musician.”

Co-produced by Quincy Jones, The Invasion Parade includes guest appearances by Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, percussionist/vocalist Pedrito Martinez, and drummer/percussionist Henry Cole.  The album includes original material along with Rodriguez’s takes on classics such as “Guantanamera” and “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás.” The Invasion Parade arrives March 4 on Mack Avenue Records.

Rodriquez’s journey begins one month before the album’s release when he plays Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.  Here’s the schedule:

Feb. 7 – Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell Univ.
March 6 – Boston, Mass, Scullers Jazz Club
March 7 – Atlanta, Ga., Ferst Center For The Arts
March 8 – Wichita, Kan., First United Methodist Church (Art On Broadway)
March 14 – Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan Theater
March 22 – Santa Monica, Calif., Sanbta Monica College (Broad Stage)
March 28 – Yountville, Calif., Lincoln Theater Napa Valley
April 23 – Santa Cruz, Calif., Kuumbwa Jazz Society
April 24 – San Francisco, Calif., SFJAZZ Center

Some shows may already be on sale.  Visit for more information.