A drummer and composer from Mexico City, Rodrigo Villanueva holds a Bachelor’s degree (’01 Magna Cum Laude) and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies (’03) from the University of North Texas. He has played and recorded with several jazz, classical and pop artists in Mexico and the U.S. Among them are Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton, Eugenio Toussaint, Meyer Kupferman, Terry Hankins, Lee Tomboulian, Carlos Guedes, Takagoshi Yoshioka, Jon Nelson, Roberto Aymes, Rodolfo “Popo” Sanchez, Edison Quintana, Carlos Prieto, Roberto Limón, Sandra Kaye, Carla White, Eddie Henderson, and Mexican Pop icons Alejandro Fernández & Lucero, for whom he played drums from 1991 to 1998, touring the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Chile and Spain.
As a composer, he has arranged and sequenced music for many pop artists, and has composed several pieces in the jazz and pop idioms, among them his jazz big band compositions, Not Yet!!!, El Niño, and Keep Tryin’, published by Increase Music & Walrus Music.
As an educator Mr. Villanueva has taught drumset and percussion courses, clinics and workshops at many institutions in Latin America and the U.S. He is currently assistant professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches jazz drumset, jazz arranging, jazz combos, and is the director of the NIU Jazz Lab Band.
Q & A
BORN IN: Mexico City
LIVES IN: Janesville, Wisconsin
Eddie Gomez Trio & Rodrigo Villanueva Jazz Quartet
Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Stewart & Steve Gadd
FAVORITE ALBUM YOU PLAYED ON:
Eddie Gomez Trio Live In Mexico City
FAVORITE ALBUM YOU DIDN’T PLAY ON: Now He Sings Now He Sobs
FAVORITE SABIAN CYMBAL: 22″ Artisan Light Ride