Pete Rodríguez at Strange Brew

Speaking of Bebo Valdés, the trumpeter for his 2004-5 world tour was Pete Rodríguez, the son of legendary percussionist and singer Pete ‘El Conde’ Rodríguez. The younger Rodríguez has spent much of the past ten years in Austin, and his Afro Taíno Sextet plays regularly at the Elephant Room, the Brass House, and Strange Brew Coffee House. At Strange Brew, he plays in front of a sign requesting silence, and he has been known to admonish fans for talking or checking their phones during his performances. Which reminds me of this Marc Hopkins article from the Atlantic, about jazz being used as worship music in churches. Rodríguez, it seems to me, flips that, turning his nightclub stage into a sort of sacred space for thoughtful trumpet meditations like «Caminando con papi,» his tribute to his late father.

Rodríguez will be at Strange Brew this Sunday, the 21st, at 7:00; the cover is $5.

pete rodriguez

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