Trumpeter/composer, Michael Rodriguez was born on July 14, 1979 in Queens, New York. Michael was inspired to pursue music as a career by his father. Michael studied at the New World school of the Arts in Miami, Florida and continued his studies at the University of Miami.After completing two years at the University of Miami, he decided to transfer to the New School University in New York where he received his B.A. Michael has performed with Pianist Eric Reed, Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, Chico O'farill Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra , Pop Icon Jessica Simpson, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Carla Bley Band, Harry Conick jr., Eddie Palmieri Septet, Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, Bob Minzter, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra. In December of 2003 Michael recorded on Charlie Haden's Grammy Award winning “Land of the Sun” album featuring Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Joe Lovano. Michael has also recorded on Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra album, which was released in Aug.05, entitled “Not In our Name” and is featured on “America the Beautiful” and Dvorjac “Going Home”.
Pianist/Composer, Robert Rodriguez was born on January 11, 1978 in New York City. Inspired by his father who is a drummer, Robert began to pursue music from a very early age. Robert studied piano and percussion at the New World School of The Arts and proceeded to achieve his bachelor's of music from the University of Miami. Through New world School of The Arts and the University of Miami, he was given the opportunity to perform with, Jerry Bergonzi, Jon Faddis, Kenny Weeler, and Maria Schneider. Robert has worked professionally with Ira Sullivan, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ed Calle, Charlie Haden, Arturo Sandoval, Ray Barretto, Roy Haynes, Ignacio Berroa, David Sanchez, Richard Bona and has recorded alongside Arturo Sandoval, Chick Corea, Dave Samuels, and Claudio Roditti on a live concert titled Jam Miami. Robert also recorded on some of the music to the HBO film “For Love or Country The Arturo Sandoval Story”. In November 2002, Robert recorded on Arturo Sandoval's recording, “Trumpet Evolution” which was produced by Quincy Jones. In April 2006 Robert was featured with The late Ray Barretto in a PBS recorded special broadcast of the new TV show titled “Legends of Jazz”. Other recording credits include Ray Barretto’s 2005 Grammy nominated recording “Time is Time was” which includes one of Robert’s original compositions “One For Ray” and “WhereAs” with legendary drummer Roy Haynes. Robert's Debut CD which was co-led by brother Michael, titled “Introducing The Rodriguez Brothers”.The RodBros. Have performed in many major festivals and clubs including the JVC, Syracuse and Iceland Jazz Festivals and the Blue note jazz club.
Enoch Jamal Strickland was born in Gainesville and raised in Miami, Florida. His father, a former percussionist for the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra and a jazz enthusiast, immersed E.J. and his twin bother Marcus with music from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, The Jazz Crusaders, Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Hendricks.Unsurprisingly, he chose to study music when he turned 11, and decided to pursue a career as a professional musician a year later.He attended The New World School of the Arts (Miami) for high school, studying classical music as well as jazz. He found great influences in drummers like Elvin Jones, “Philly” Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Brian Blade, and many, many others. After meeting Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, and Bobby Watson at Miami clinics, the Strickland brothers decided to go to New York City to further pursue their studies and goals.In 1997, E.J. attended The New School for Social Research, where he studied piano, polished his skills as a composer, and studied with some of the world’s greatest drummers: Joe Chambers, Michael Carvin, Carl Allen, Ralph Peterson, Lewis Nash, and Jimmy Cobb. He started to develop a sound when The Marcus Strickland Quartet was formed, adding classmates Robert Glasper and Brandon Owens. Before earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Performance, he had already performed with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Nneenna Freelon, Abbey Lincoln, Christian McBride, Herbie Hancock, Wessell Anderson, and Dianne Reeves.E.J. is also currently touring & performing with Cassandra Wilson, George Colligan quartet & trio, and the David Gilmore trio.
Marcus Strickland (born 1979 in Gainesville, FL) is a jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist from Miami, FL who currently lives in New York. He was named 'Rising Star, Soprano Saxophone' in Downbeat Magazine's Critic's Poll '08 and 'Best New Artist' in JazzTimes Magazine's Reader's Poll '06; placed third in the 2002 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition; has two releases on Fresh Sound New Talent Records as a leader ("At Last" and "Brotherhood"); one release on Criss Cross Records ("Of Song"); and three releases ("Twi-Life, Open Reel Deck & Idiosyncrasies") on his own music label Strick Muzik (launched in 2006).
The aspiring saxophonist has been on two Grammy-nominated recordings ("Fountain of Youth" - Roy Haynes & "Keystone" - Dave Douglas). In addition to his own trio and quartet, Strickland currently plays with Dave Douglas, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, and Will Calhoun. He also recently ended a five-year stint with legendary drummer Roy Haynes.
Strickland has gained professional & artistic integrity through experiences with Roy Haynes, Mos Def, Dave Douglas, Nicholas Payton, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Christian McBride, Charles Tolliver Big Band, Tom Harrell, Will Calhoun, Lonnie Plaxico, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, The Mingus Band, the Village Vanguard Band, Milt Jackson Big Band, and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, just to name a few.
Born in Cuba, he received his earliest musical training from his father, Eladio "Don Pancho" Terry , violinist and Cuba's leading player of the Chekeré. His father was also known as the founder and director of the "Orquesta Maravillas de Florida," one of Cuba's most important charanga bands. Mr. Terry went on to receive his classical music training and graduated from both the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory.
While in Cuba, Yosvany was known for his musical innovation performing with the likes of legends, such as Chucho Valdez, Silvio Rogriguez, Fito Paez, and Cubanismo, as well as forming the influential group, Columna B. Their work represented the new voice of young Cuban jazz players. " Columna B became this limitless work-shop, where everything could be tried and experimented with. We learned how to polish and develop our craft in a very special and intuitive sense ", commentsTerry. Columna toured throughout the US and Europe, and in 1998premiered their Inroads Commissioned-piece by Arts International (through the Ford Foundation) at Stanford Jazz Festival.
Yosvany came to New York in 1999 and was immediately recognized as a "spectacular talent" in the Jazz scene, playing with Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Douglass, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, and bassist Avishai Cohen. " My move to New York represented an incredible time of growth as a musician, the move gave me access to so much information, and the opportunity to meet and work with talented musicians from all over the world."
Always a student, Mr. Terry has absorbed and incorporated American jazz traditions with his own Afro-Cuban roots to produce compositions and solo work that flow from the rhythmic and hard driving avant-garde to sweet sounding lyricism. His voice and style are unique and complex, and with his new Quintet he has married Cuban and American musical traditions to create a new and exciting sound.
Yunior Terry bass, violin & composer. Yunior Terry was born in Camaguey, Cuba and is the youngest son in a family of musicians. His father Don Pancho Terry is the undisputed master of the Chekere as well as the founder and leader of Maravillas de Florida one of the most highly respected Charanga groups in Cuba. Following this path and tradition. Yunior Terry started his formal music education at the age of seven taking up the violin at the Luis Casas Romero School in Camaguey. He was invited at the age of eleven he was invited to join the string section of the Symphony Orchestra for a tour to Havana to participate at the National Contemporary Music Festival. Mr. Terry participated in varies violin competitions receiving the first price in 1989 for the best interpretation of Cuban music. He continued his music education at the National School for the Arts in Havana where he began playing the bass and graduated with a double major in 1994. This same year joined the Havana National Philharmonic touring to Argentina during the Opera Season. While in he Philharmonic Mr. Terry had chance to work under Leo Brower, Jorge Luis Prats and Frank Fernandez. In1996 Mr. Terry joined travel for a yearlong tour Up with People (an organization that promotes freedom and equality) and spent a year touring internationally with the group. In 1998 Mr. Terry moved to California to attend the California Institute of Arts where he received his Bachelor Degree with honors in 2002. It was at CalArts where he continued to expand his musical horizon studying under Charlie Haden, Rajeev Taranath ( India) and Alfred Ladzekpo from Ghana. Upon graduation he moved to New York City where he stays busy with both the local music scene and through touring with; Lila Downs, Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, The Latin Jazz All Stars which included the late Hilton Ruiz, as well as Steve Turre, Giovanni Hidalgo, Dave Valentin, Mario Rivera, Ray Vega. In addition he is touring with Jeff Tain Watts, Eddie Palmieri, Pete Escovedo and Sheila E, Dafnis Prieto, Claudia Acuna , Jane Bunnett and his brother Yosvany Terry.