Quincy Jones is legendary for identifying stellar talent and creating proteges, including the late “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Jones now introduces us to a new talent – a refreshingly free pianist from the decidedly less free nation of Cuba.
Alfredo Rodriguez was offered a spot at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 2006.
One night, the Festival’s director invited him to play at his house. That’s where Rodriguez met Quincy Jones.
“I remember I played a Cole Porter song which is called ‘I Love You’,” Rodriguez says. “That was how I met Quincy and Quincy was very happy to listen to my music at the time. So I just took that experience as something positive in my life. I had the opportunity to play one song for Quincy Jones.”
And Quincy Jones remembers when he heard Rodriguez.
“He blew me away. When we heard him that day, Herbie Hancock says I’m not going anywhere near that,” Jones recalled.
After Montreux, Rodriguez went back to Cuba. A month later he got a call from Quincy Jones Productions offering to produce an album. But to do that he would have to move to the US.
A few years later, Rodriguez made the difficult decision to go.
With his debut recording called “Sounds of Space”, produced by Quincy Jones, Alfredo Rodriguez is now on a constant world-wide tour, waiting for the next surprise.