Drummer and composer, Rodrigo 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, Alex Mercado, 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, Meyer Kupferman, 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. 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 NIU Jazz Faculty Group, the Sada Jazz trio, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, the Carolina Jazz Collective, and the Jan Wheaton Jazz Quartet. He endorses Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Latin Percussion instruments and Evans Drumheads, in addition he is a member of Vic Firth’s education team.
Birch Custom Absolute Nouveau or Recording Custom.
EVANS DRUM HEADS
VIC FIRTH DRUM STICKS, MALLETS & BRUSHES
He is a very accomplished drummer, a very accomplished
improviser, a very
sensitive player and a very musical individual. Ed Soph.
-Wendy Wilson, North Texas Daily
Rodrigo es un baterista de un talento muy especial. Eddie
-Xavier Quirarte, Milenio
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
NIU School of Music
Professor of Jazz Studies
Private Studio in DeKalb, IL and Janesville, WI.
Over 25 years of teaching experience.
Fridays & Saturdays in Janesville, WI.
Tuesdays through Thursdays in DeKalb, IL.
Rodrigo has offered clinics at various universities and jazz
schools all around
the world: Mexico, Peru, USA, Korea, & Japan.
Vic Firth Drumsticks
LP percussion instruments
Rodrigo's master classes and clinics topics:
Natural Motion and Posture
Melodic approach to improvisation and practice on the
Transcriptions: Understanding Style, Phrasing and Sound
drum set transcriptions.
French Grip, American Grip and German Grip.
Time Placement: Playing On Top, Dead Center, and Behind the
Organizing your practice schedule and setting your goals.
Always make music when you practice.