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Drummer and composer, Mr. Rodrigo Villanueva holds a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He has played and/or recorded with several jazz, classical and pop artists from Mexico, Perú, Korea, Japan and the U.S. Among them are Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton, Eddie Gomez, Fareed Haque, Ed Saindon, Clark Terry, Eddie Henderson, Jimmy Owens, Liam Teague, Rodolfo Sanchez, Lee Tomboulian, Hiro Morozumi, Jangeun Bae, Carlos Guedes, Takayoshi Yoshioka, Jon Anderson, Carlos Prieto, Roberto Limón, Sandra Kaye, Carla White, and the Mexican pop icons Lucero and Alejandro Fernandez.
As a composer, he has arranged and/or sequenced music for pop artists and has published several original compositions for jazz big band (ASCAP). As an educator Mr. Villanueva has taught drum-set courses, clinics and workshops at many institutions in Mexico, Peru, Korea, Japan and the U.S. He is currently associate professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches jazz drums, jazz arranging, and coaches the NIU Jazz Lab Band, winner of the first place at the 2010 and 2008 editions of the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival. Rodrigo performs regularly with his jazz trio/quartet, the U.N. Jazz Trio, the Eddie Gomez Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group, the Sada Jazz trio, the Jangeun Bae Jazz Trio, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, and the Jan Wheaton Jazz Quartet. He endorses Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Latin Percussion instruments, Reunion Blues Cases and Evans Drumheads, in addition he is a member of Vic Firth’s education team. In 2010 Rodrigo launched his own record label, the first production of this project is the new Eddie Gomez Trio album: Live In Mexico City with the legendary Eddie Gomez on bass, Swedish pianist Stefan Karlsson and Rodrigo Villanueva on drums (© Jazzling Records 2010).