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Rodri Entertainment Group - Entertainment from the heart
 
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Rodri J. Rodriguez

A multi-talented artist-producer, Rodri J. Rodriguez is a visionary cultural arts advocate. Her spectacularly creative live event productions, have written a whole new chapter in the world of entertainment.

Single-handedly as a producer, in a field controlled by vested interests, she has made her voice heard. Her riveting messages always advocate positive multi-cultural images. Rodri is the very personification of a producer with a soul and capacity to uplift the human spirit.

Rodriguez is President and CEO of Rodri Entertainment Inc., an international entertainment production company, founded in 1976. But Rodriguez’s presence has been felt in the entertainment arena since 1975, when she played a key role in the decision to have the Latin Category added to the Grammy Awards. In recognition of her efforts to give this music genre long overdue and deserved recognition, she accepted one of the first Grammy's awarded in this, then new category for Mongo Santamaria.

One of the company’s events is the MARIACHI USA® Festival heralded as the world’s preeminent Mariachi festival, which this coming year, celebrates 20 years of sold out success at the Hollywood Bowl. A 2 hour television special of the Festival aired on prime time pay-per-view and PBS nationally and consequently received the Image Award for best Variety Music Special.

True to form, this entertainment pioneer recently completed a five month contract at the V Theatre at the Desert Passage, Aladdin Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The original production of M… MARIACHI PASSION & TRADITION, the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip was heralded by Vegas’ toughest critics receiving high ratings and outstanding reviews!

Keeping true to its motto….’entertainment from the heart’, the company completed a two year commitment at the John An son Ford Amphitheatre with its Standing Ovation Series (SOS), a 20 concert series of Latin artists with several impressive World Premier original Rodri productions in this line-up.

A newly produced music review is the 90-minute MARIACHI USA® Fiesta, created to tour performing arts centers, casinos and fairs and has played to sold out audiences for the last four years at the Los Angeles County Fair, the largest fair of its kind in the US. The Grandstand Stage is filled to its capacity of 10,000 at each performance.

Entrepreneur to the core, Rodriguez is amongst the group of 27 successful entrepreneurs that in 2006 became Founding Shareholders of the first Latino owned bank in California in 35 years. With headquarters at 888 South Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles, PROMERICA Bank caters to the burgeoning Latino entrepreneurship in the number one Latino market in the nation. Read more about this topic

Recently, Rodriguez joined Peter Rawley and Ron Colby as Producers of the film “ONE” currently in pre-production. ONE is the life story of Venezuelan Television icon Renny Ottolina and is being directed by famed and award winning director, Betty Kaplan.

Rodri’s international work has extended to Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Israel, and Europe and includes concerts/shows with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Andy Williams, Vikki Carr, Sammy Davis Jr., Julio Iglesias, Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams, Natalie Cole, Sara Vaughn and the creation and production of Playboy’s Girls of Rock & Roll. Among the Latin artist concert productions are; Lola Beltran, Pedro Vargas, Lucha Villa, Roberto Carlos, Raphael, Camilo Sesto, Miguel Gallardo, Aida Cuevas, Amalia Mendoza, Angeles Ochoa, Vicente Fernandez, Armando Manzanero, Antonio Aguilar, Dyango, Miguel Aceves Mejia, Lupita d’Alessio, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Jose Jose, Angelica Maria, Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine to name a few.

Rodriguez hosted her own radio talk show on Los Angeles’ #1 talk radio station KFI-AM 640 from 1995 to 1998.

Rodri is highly sought after as a motivational and keynote speaker for her innate ability to connect with and touch an audience not only in English, but also in her native language Spanish. Her commitment to a brighter future for today’s youth motivates her to spend considerable time speaking to students at grammar schools, high schools and universities.

In 2002, Rodriguez was elected to the Los Angeles County Fair Association, the first Latina elected to this Board. Rodriguez is also the Founder and Chairman of the MARIACHI USA Foundation (1990 to present) which provides grants for Mariachi and Folklorico programs for K1-K12 in California, Texas, Arizona & Washington; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hollywood Arts Council (1998 – 2006); Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles 1984 – 1990; Member of the Grammy Foundation National Education Advisory Council (1999 to 2004); Member, Ford Theatre Foundation Latino Advisory Board; Founding Member, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE); former Member, UNICEF Leadership Committee; former Board Member of the California State Bar Legal Services Trust Fund Commission; President, Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors 1979-1990; former instructor for the prestigious UCLA Extension Program.

AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS

On June 29th 2006, at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills Rodri Rodriguez was award as the National Latina Business Women of the year by the National Latina Business Women Association.

In September of 2004 Hispanic Magazine selected Rodriguez to receive their Entertainment Award previously presented to Anthony Quinn and Gloria Estefan.

Other awards include; The prestigious YWCA Silver Achievers Entrepreneur of the Year, the Hollywood Arts Council’s Charlie Chaplin Award, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ‘Hollywood’s Women of Distinction’ Award, the National Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences Entrepreneur of the Year, the KLVE FM107.5 Radio Outstanding Woman of the Year, the Golden Eagle Award from Ricardo Montalban’s ‘Nosotros’; awarded International Company of the Year by the Latin Business Association; awarded Woman of the Year by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, Comisión Femenil’s Woman of Outstanding Achievement and the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre ‘Integrity Award’. Rodri is listed in the “Who’s Who” in the World, in America, in Entertainment and in Business.

Rodriguez has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council with proclamations in recognition of her achievements and advocacy for the arts, also numerous recognitions from President Clinton, the United States Congress, California State Senate, California Legislature, California Governors… Governor Davis, Governor Wilson; Los Angeles Mayors; Mayor Tom Bradley, Mayor Richard Riordan, Texas State Senate, Legislature and Governor Rick Perry.

But beyond achievement, awards, and her unstoppable mission to entertain the soul and motivate the spirit there is a woman with a great heart, a contagious smile overflowing with immeasurable strength in her vision for the world.

Rodriguez is a native of Havana, Cuba having traveled to the United States, alone, as a child of the “Peter Pan” exodus of 14,000 children from Cuba. As a child, Rodri resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently resides in Studio City, California.

Q & A

What in life have you come to terms with
That I rarely get my first choice of shoe designs…( Being a size 5 1/2 shoe)

Your favorite food
My mother's arroz con pollo, she left her published recipe with me to share with the world. Desert Floating island..Cafe de Artiste in hollywood serves my favorite Porto's birthday cake or guava pastry…Porto's in Burbank and Glendale A MUST TRY!

Your favorite color
To wear…black
To sleep…white
To look at...purple & peach

Favorite past time
Gardening…I have an endless array of plants of varying shapes & sizes. Cooking…I'm specially good at Mexican & Italian and of course Cuban

Pets
I have had 2, Roxy a beautiful silver silky-yorky the only one born from mom Gigi & dad Radar. Wizky - my current gorgeous chow that is completely oblivious that he is a dog.

Books that you would recommend
The Painted Bird…Jerzy Kozinsky, Celestine Prophecy

A few of your favorite things…
Raindrops on roses and on me…
The smell of fresh teak sawdust (Dad is a shipwright/carpenter)
Watching the sun rise from the ocean…closest place to LA to do this is Cabo San Lucas
Movie marathons on a rainy day by the fire place
My godchildren & I baking anything!
Good jokes
Gardenias
Scrabble - in various languages simultaneously.

You should also know my least favorite things…
*LIES…
*I disdain celebrities, politicians, public figures that display misplaced diva-divo ness. If the FDA could only approve several meds available to cure their temporary amnesia; they too easily forget who employs them and where they would be without our vote, our TV viewer ship, our purchase of their CD and movie tickets.
*I abhor discrimination of any type and am ashamed of anyone that feels position, money or education makes them superior to the rest of mankind.

 
Q & A continued
 
Rodri J. Rodriguez

(Q & A continued from column one)

Memorable events
In chronological order;
Eating my first mango, naked in the bath tub..age two
My first plane ride…from Havana to Miami by myself at age seven
The first show I produced…
Receiving the Grammy on behalf on Mongo Santamaria
Walking down Masada in Israel and Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro neither physically challenging and both spiritually enlightening.
Praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
I threw a birthday party for Julio Iglesias' 33rd birthday…most memorable…now now it's the opposite of what you're thinking!
Skiing in breathtaking Valle Nevado in Chile
Two weeks cross country with Mom & Dad in Puerto Rico, something every adult child should do with their parents at least once in a lifetime!
Watching three of my godchildren be born; Paola, Jazzmin and Ryan
Assisting my Mom pass on to her next life
Each morning when I wake up and I'm still alive!

Things that stir your heart
When my godchildren call me 'Nina' short for Madrina - godmother.
Watching our Foundation students jam & grow.

One of those nerve wrenching days…
I produced Roberto Carlos in concert and he arrived 2 hours late to the show....
I sent the right artist to the right country on the wrong month…yes, for real. Serendipity being my middle name, the artist got more work thus creating increased income for all involved!
My MC didn't show to the 1st MARIACHI USA thus my debut at the Hollywood Bowl as MC included me wearing tennis shoes!
My first day on the air at KFI AM Radio…kept thinking "Who's idea was this"!

Greatest regret
Have not had one of those yet…

MUSIC

Composers
Anything written by Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Agustin Lara and Armando Manzanero, George Benson

Music for the soul
Vivaldi's Four Seasons especially while driving topless(car that is) along any coast - Malibu and the Florida Keys and soon Amalfi Coast!

Contemporary violinist
Jerry Goodman

Guitarist
Stanley Clark, Eric Clapton, Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucia

Flamenco Dancer
Domingo Ortega... WOW

Opera
Puccini's La Boehme, Madame Butterfly and of course Bizet's Carmen

Toughest lessons learned
I'm still learning; 1. Patience 2. That one cannot be all things to all people at all times so inherent of Latinas. Although my life experiences have brought me personal strength and survival against all odds, the horrific illness and passing of my best friend, my mother, humbled me to confront the powerlessness of the desperate desire to give life to whom gave me life.

Weakness…
FOOD
I love all the mushy warm & fussy stuff like cheese especially with a great Cabernet, creamy pastas, which I eat sparingly and the reason why I work out 5 days a week!

Obsession…
Proper grammar & spelling; English is my second language & since arriving to the US at age 7 I have been a bit obsessive about proper grammar and excellent spelling. The language discrimination sting was mighty so I stung back by excelling to the point of winning all spelling bees. How's that for a REAL sting...LOL! I drive my staff crazy with spelling and proper grammar but in the process we all learn!

I heard that you like to play jokes on people…?
I am and have always been a prankster; in school, on tour, in the office. I love making people laugh. Stay tuned for cool but safe tricks to play on friends!

Favorite Cuban restaurant
Lily's 3887 E. Sierra Madre - (626) 351-1020
The buffet is exceptional and has all my favorites; carne con papas, masitas de puerco fritas, ropa vieja, picadillo albondigas, congri, frijoles negros, arroz blanco, platanos maduros fritos, mariquitas, bistec en casuela, pescado en salsa, flan, arroz con leche, ensalada verde etc. Aside from this delicious buffet they have an alacarte menu…a must have is the bistec empanizado!

What's new…
Currently having a love affair with Pilates, can't seem to get enough…my body loves it & my instructor Ilana is fab!

Childhood 'stuff'
I was born & spent the first 7 years of my life in Havana, however my parents are from Moron, Camaguey. We would often go there to visit my grandparents. My Abuelos lived in thatched roof houses. The water came from a backyard well and all the beds had mosquito nets which I thought was really cool! I have fond memories of feeding the hens and collecting their eggs. My buddy was a hearty pig to whom I fed cornmeal. He got lost one day but I later found out that 'he got lost' really meant he was our Christmas Eve dinner!

How many kids do you have?
Curently over 500, mostly our Foundation students.

Rodri’s favorite recipe
Download PDF recipe

Coming Soon
Rodri’s Hot Picks on Spas, Restaurants, MEXICO & more!

Question or Comment for Rodri?

Recipient of the 2006 Aurora Award …Platinum Best of Show as Producer of the “Latinas… the Spirit of California” documentary. Best of Show is the highest honor given; only one in ten receive this honor.

 

Rodri receives the Aurora Award
 
 
For interviews with Rodri contact:
Robert Nieto
Greenhouse Marketing Group
(310) 717-6784
robert@greenhousemg.com

For booking with Rodri:
Contact : Laura Kelly

  Rodri Entertainment Group, an Irdor, Inc. Company
11684 Ventura Boulevard, #671
Studio City, California  91604
(323) 656-7977 - Office
(323) 656-4017 - Fax
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Company Contact Information
General Contact : Laura Kelly
 
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