Willy Rodriguez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and began playing drums at age thirteen. He received his musical start playing throughout Puerto Rico in rock and pop bands. When Willy was twenty-one he started working as the Musical Director and drummer for Latin American Idol’s touring group. Following his experience at Idol, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in 2007.
In 2014, Willy graduated from New England Conservatory with a Master’s degree in Jazz Drum Performance. At NEC, he studied with Miguel Zenon, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Billy Hart and Cecil McBee, among others. He has performed alongside some of the premier musicians in jazz including Randy Weston, Dave Holland and Dave Liebman, with whom he has recorded and played with extensively.
Along with being an established performer, Willy is an accomplished educator and teacher with over ten years of experience. He has taught at the famous Community Music School of Boston, Young Artists of Massachusetts, the IBA, and has given workshops at the Panama Jazz Festival 2014. He has appeared on a variety of recordings including Ceremony, the most recent release from NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman.