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Jay Rodriguez is one of the busiest men in jazz, and one of the few playing most all the reeds as a leader and sideman with wildly diverse musicians, synthesizing these experiences within his own projects. Jay picked up the clarinet in grade school at age 7, after moving to NYC in 1970 from Barranquilla, Colombia, and furthered his reed studying with Phil Woods (´82-´84), Joe Allard, Tito D’Rivera (father of Paquito) and Joe Henderson. He was playing lead alto with the late great Tito Puente by the age of 15, graduated with the highest honors from New York City’s renowned High School for the Performing Arts and continued his studies at Manhattan School of Musicand The New School.

When asked about his childhood, Rodriguez recalls: My saxophone guru, Mark Friedman, tried to teach me how important it was to be a kid. Of course, I didn’t listen, so I was playing gigs constantly. I’d be coming home at 6 o’clock in the morning, then going to school. That was my childhood and I don’t regret it. Always open-minded and versatile, Jay´s first jobs included latin bands, jam sessions in Harlem, and studio work on commercials. Since the late ´80s, he has split his time between gigs with Bill Ware (´88), Groove Collective (´93), Medeski, Martin and Wood (´94), more mainstream acts like Dizzy Gillespie´s United Nations Orchestra (´91), Gil Evans´ Orchestra (´92-´94), David Murray, Doc Cheatham, Kenny Barron and Roy Hargrove (´94). Capable on nearly all reeds, but primarily a soloist on saxes and flutes, Jay has a lithe sound and refreshing willingness to explore any genre and contribute mightily to any ensemble.

He is also the Musical Director and founding member of the New York City phenomenon Groove Collective. In its over two-decade career, the band has opened for and jammed with James Brown, backed Tupac Shakur, and shared the stage with Isaac Hayes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, and B.B. King, among others. Rodriguez also earned two of his three Grammy Nominations for the band’s album “Declassified.” Jay earned one of his Grammy Nominations for the band’s album “People People Music Music” (2006).

This focus and determination have propelled Rodriguez into a highly successful musical career. A three-time Grammy Nominee, he has performed or recorded with a diverse list of talent, including icons Joe Lovano, Elvis Costello, Gil Evans, The Mingus Big band, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Craig Harris, Ray Barretto, Latin pop starRuben Blades and Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Sanabria, Stevie Wonder, Joan Osborne, Debbie Harry (Blondie), the great Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, JB Horn, Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell of Parliment Funkedelic, the great Cuban All Star jazz band Irakere, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Slide Hampton, James Moody, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Cab Calloway, The New York Philharmonic, orchestrated for composerPhilip Glass, rap artists as Guru’s Jazzmatazz Jazz/Hip Hop project, among others.

Jay has also worked on dance projects with Little Louie Vega, Dennis Ferrer, DJ Smash, and recorded/toured with Prince, Gangstar, DJ Premiere, George Porter Jr. and more.

His pantheon of important musical contributions has been a part of the NYC music scene in many genres as a composer, arranger and soloist for the past 30 years. Many of Jay’s achievements can be found in the “Encyclopedia of Jazz” (authors: Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler).

Recently signed with Manager/Producer Suzi Reynolds, Jay is hard at work on a new recording and revivingGroove Collective with a new album as well. Rodriguez remains as active as ever on the international scene, performing over 200 gigs a year.


Jay Rodriguez Photo




Prolific. Prodigal. Profound. That is Jay Rodriguez. Sometimes the sound is explosive, wild and full of fury, other times his music aches with a passion that’s painful and bare. Always modest and reverent, Rodriguez harnesses the unbridled audacity of youth and melds it with the uncanny discipline of a hardened New York jazz veteran. Married to the song while sleeping with the groove, his sound sings of commitment to an ideal—it is spontaneity, culturally untethered and unpretentious, the excitement of far flung love at all costs. It is perfectionism kissed by chaos. 

– Michael Gelfan / THE NEW YORKER

He could be breathy and insinuating on a ballad, brawny and extroverted in an uptempo… 


Mr. Rodriguez is more than a musician. He is a visionary. Jay Rodriguez is the Latin American Answer to James Carter and a true light to hear and see. – Arnie Lawrence, Founder of THE NEW SCHOOL for Jazz and Contemporary Music

Havana International Jazz Festival Reedman / Saxophonist Jay Rodriguez, down from New Y0rk for the festival says, ‘I have admiration for the people and the culture and the way they persevere and are educated, in general culturally and musically. They are supportive of their own musicians, and the young musicians are skilled and well trained.’ – JAZZTIMES


“His work is defined with versatility, humor and heart. His jazz playing is full of blues and soul. It is one of those voices that are hard to describe with words, and that is much closer to the spirit.” 

– EL HERALDO, Colombia

Fleet-fingered saxophonist Jay Rodriguez has played it all in New York: salsa with Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, hip-hop with DJ Premier and Groove Collective, straight-ahead with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Barron and Doc Cheatham. His new band, SEVEN, pays homage to a recent discovery: the free jazz of saxophonist Ornette Coleman. “I felt like one of those folks who just learned the earth is round,” he says. Rodriguez took a deep dive into Coleman’s repertoire and came up with a brass and string ensemble inspired by the legend’s 1960s double quartets performING Coleman-inspired originals like “Your Sound,” as well as Coleman classics like “Lonely Woman,”

- Winter Jazzfest. – NPR


2020 "Your Sound" Live at Dizzy's - composer

2012 Selah Sue “Fade Away” co-produced with Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis
2012 Moon People Nickodemus Flute, Saxophone
2012 Occupy This Album Featured Artist, Primary Artist, Saxophone
2011 A Prayer for the Planet Global Noize Composer, Flute
2011 Cry Love Maya Azucena Flute
2011 Musiqinthemagiq Musiq (Soulchild) Sax (Baritone)
2010 Tom Browne (Co-producer Woodwinds)
2010 Brooklyn Connections (Solo Release co-produced with Teru Nakamura)
2010 Tasty Jay Street Composer
2009 Chamber Music Wu-Tang Clan Horn
2009 Signature Joe Flute, Horn
2009 Sun People Nickodemus Bass, Bass Instrument, Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone
2009 Incredibad The Lonely Island Horn
2008 En Paz Eljuri Flute
2008 G Lounge Milano, Vol. 5 Saxophone
2008 In the House Gilles Peterson Saxophone
2008 Jazzhead 2006 Bansuri, Gaita
2008 Jazzhead, Vol. 7 Flute
2007 Global Dancefloor: A Collection of Global Dance Composer
2007 Here with Me Kiku Collins Flute, Main Personnel
2007 Live in Italy Jay Rodriguez Flute, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Saxophone
2007 PS1 Warm Up: Brooklyn, NY July 2nd, 2005 Groove Collective Flute, Saxophone
2007 Pom Pom: The Essential Cibo Matto Cibo Matto Saxophone
2007 The Birth of Cornelius Corneille Flute, Saxophone
2006 Desert Grooves, Vol. 2 Flute
2006 La Californie Clarinet (Bass)
2006 Orientation Greg Murphy Cover Photo
2006 Park Hyatt Sax (Baritone)
2006 People People Music Music Groove Collective Clarinet (Bass), Flute, Member of Attributed Artist, Saxophone
2005 A Little Night Music [Kudos] Composer
2005 Bar Susu: Ibiza Sessions Flute, Sax (Baritone)
2005 Cavaleiro Andante Gabriel o Pensador Flute, Saxophone
2005 Concord Picante 25th Anniversary Collection Sax (Tenor)
2005 Endangered Species Nickodemus Featured Artist, Flute, Guest Artist, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Saxophone
2005 Haughty Melodic Mike Doughty Clarinet (Bass), Flute, Flute (Tenor), Main Personnel, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
2005 Lado Este Sara Valenzuela Flute, Main Personnel, Saxophone
2004 By Day By Night Lizz Fields Sax (Baritone)
2004 Elements of Life: Extensions “Little” Louie Vega Flute, Sax (Baritone)
2004 Fabric 18 Baby Mammoth Clarinet
2004 More Talk About Tonight Slang Additional Personnel, Bamboo Flute, Bass, Clarinet, Flute, Flute (Alto), Guest Artist, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
2004 On the Seventh: Park Hyatt Chicago Sax (Baritone)
2004 Orixás Jorge Amorim Flute, Saxophone, Wurlitzer
2004 Six Degrees 100 Composer
2004 Texhnolyze: Music Only Music But Music/O.S.T. Saxophone
2003 Baby That Brought Bad Weather Greta Gertler Clarinet (Bass), Flute (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
2003 Concord Records 30th Anniversary Sax (Tenor)
2003 Here to There DJ Spinna Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone)
2003 Hot Hands Ray Barretto & New World Spirit Flute, Group Member, Sax (Tenor)
2003 Live at the Fez – NYC 07.03.03 Jay Rodriguez Composer, Flute, Primary Artist, Saxophone
2003 Marc Ribot: Soundtracks II Marc Ribot Main Personnel, Saxophone
2003 Organized! Swingadelic Group Member, Sax (Baritone)
2003 Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen Sax (Tenor)
2003 The Best of Turntables on the Hudson Saxophone
2003 Treats for the Nightwalker Josh Roseman Unit Flute, Sax (Baritone)
2003 We Are Gathered Here Fine Arts Militia Sax (Tenor)
2002 A Motion, Vol. 2: A Six Degrees Dance Collection Composer
2002 Beautiful Tomorrow Blue Six Flute
2002 Bomba Bomba Ray Barretto Flute, Sax (Tenor)
2002 Brooklyn, NY 04.20.02 Groove Collective Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
2002 Musical Reflections Ron Trent Composer
2002 Nu-York Nite: Life Joeski & Onionz Composer
2002 Nude Tempo One Miguel Migs Composer
2002 Private Lounge, Vol. 3 Brass Arrangement, Wind Arrangements
2002 Traveler ’02 Composer
2002 Trust the DJ: BJ01 Dr. Bob Jones Composer
2002 When I Was Cruel Elvis Costello Sax (Tenor)
2001 Giant Step Records Sessions, Vol. 1 Ron Trent Flute, Saxophone
2001 It’s All in Your Mind Groove Collective Sax (Alto)
2001 Olajope Batidos Associate Producer, Composer, Keyboards, Paintings, Saxophone, Vocals, Woodwind
2001 On a Clear Day: Irma Bossa Lounge Horn Arrangements
2001 Release the Day Barney McAll Bansuri, Gaita
2001 The Bellwether Project Slang Flute, Saxophone
2001 Traveler ’01 Composer, Performer, Primary Artist
2001 True Spirit, Vol. 2 Flute, Saxophone
2001 Turntables on the Hudson, Vol. 3 Saxophone, Vocals
2001 Vibes 4 Vibes Flute, Flute (Alto), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
2000 As Long as You’re Living Yours: The Music of Keith Jarrett Sax (Baritone)
2000 DET Live! Vol. 2: Exclusive Live Performances from WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit Sax (Baritone)
2000 Essence All-Stars: Afro Cubano Chant, Vol. 2 Hip Bop Essence Allstars Primary Artist, Sax (Baritone)
2000 Fire at Keaton’s Bar and Grill Roy Nathanson Sax (Tenor)
1999 Declassified Groove Collective Composer, Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
1999 Last Chance to Dance Trance (perhaps): Best Of (1991-1996) Medeski, Martin & Wood Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
1998 Acid Jazz Classics [Irma] Composer
1998 Dance of the Drunken Master Groove Collective Clarinet (Bass), Composer, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
1998 Diplomatic Immunity Jerome Van Rossum Horn, Performer, Primary Artist
1998 Stone Monkey Richard Worth Sax (Soprano)
1998 The Soul of Eightball Producer
1997 Cool Cuts for a Hot Summer Day Composer
1997 Cool Fever: From Disco Jazz to Jazz House Berimbau, Clarinet (Bass), Gaita, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
1997 Debt Frank London Flute, Main Personnel, Saxophone
1997 Fiesta Picante: The Latin Jazz Party Collection Flute, Sax (Tenor)
1997 Shape Your Life Live Tropical Fish Bass, Berimbau, Flute, Horn Arrangements, Liner Notes, Performer, Primary Artist, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
1997 This Is No Time Groove Thing Composer, Flute, Horn Arrangements, Sax (Soprano), 
1996 Alternate Currents Saxophone
1996 We the People Groove Collective Bass, Berimbau, Clarinet, Composer, Gaita, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
1995 A I Got No Kick Against Modern Jazz Berimbau, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
1994 Nerd [CD/Vinyl Single] Groove Collective Composer
1993 Ancestral Messages Ray Barretto Flute, Sax (Tenor), Unknown Contributor Role
1993 Groove Collective Groove Collective Bonsuri, Clarinet (Bass), Composer, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
1993 New York City Ache! Bobby Sanabria Flute, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals, Whistle (Instrument)
1993 The Juliet Letters Elvis Costello Sax (Tenor)
1993 This Is Acid Jazz, Vol. 3 Flute, Performer, Primary Artist, Saxophone
1992 Live at the Knitting Factory John Zorn’s Cobra Sax (Alto)
Afro Peruvian Jazz Celebration Corina Bartra Saxophone
Flashbacks Barney McAll Sax (Tenor)
Jazz Club: Acid Jazz Bass, Clarinet, Saxophone
Masquenada, Vol. 2 Composer
Sokoband Sokoband Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Summer Jam Session Saxophone
The Compilation Vol. I Primary Artist


Jean-Pierre Leduc
tel (+1) 514.247.0706
fax (+1) 514. 313.5532


Suzi Reynolds & Associates
Suzi Reynolds
Ani Segura


Ubuntu World Music
Christine Vaindirlis
P: 212-784-6163

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