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In Berkeley: Cuban pianist sensation Alfredo Rodríguez

Alfredo Rodriguez: plays Berkeley on xxx
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As Cuba’s latest piano sensation, Alfredo Rodríguez knows he’s walking in exalted company. A graduate of the Manuel Saumell Conservatory, the same Havana institution that launched Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Manuel Valera, Rodriguez found out early on that prodigious talent could be a passport to an illustrious musical career.

“Knowing that Gonzalo had gone there, it’s a very big deal,” says Rodríguez, 26, from his home in Los Angeles. “In the school, they just teach classical music. It’s on the street that you play popular music and discover jazz. In my case, I love classical music and jazz too. Improvisation is the most important thing to me in the music. It’s my passion.”

Rodríguez makes his Berkeley debut Sunday when Cal Performances presents his solo recital at Hertz Hall. While he often tours with a trio the pianist is completely at home alone at the keyboard, a setting that allows him to fully explore his virtuosic technique and boundless imagination. … Continue reading »

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