Alex W. Rodríguez
Writer, trombonist, and educator currently serving as a Worker-Owner of Catalyst Cooperative Healing and Board Secretary-Treasurer for Buddhist Peace Fellowship. PhD from UCLA on global jazz practice.
The Necessary Weirdness of Global Silly-Darity
Reflections on the Wilds Beyond Climate Justice by the strange foursome that stewarded it By Owólabi Aboyade, Aerin Dunford, Karen Leu, and Alex Rodríguez This article first appeared in Geez Magazine Issue 66, Global Resistance and Solidarity. To read more and subscribe to this most excellent publication, please visit the
This Is Actually Happening!!!!
That's right, four exclamation points!!!! Yesterday, I booked plane tickets to return to Chile for the first time in almost seven years. Nico, Pablo, Reca and I will be playing at Thelonious, Lugar de Jazz on January 17th and Tromba Pomodoro on January 18th. The rest of the dates are
Known Unknown Territory
As my 39th trip around the sun gets underway this week, the next steps with Somewhere Else!!!! are making themselves apparent. I'm planning a trip to Chile in January to finally use the plane tickets I bought almost three years ago. Nico and I are setting up performances in Santiago
Healing in Public
"Music is the Healing Force of the Universe" is one of saxophonist Albert Ayler's transcendent contributions to the 1960s free jazz movement, with lyrics penned and sung by Mary Maria Parks. I found myself revisiting it as I prepared to write today's update, as I began to understand the discomfort
Without a plan
This month's update has been a bit more challenging to conjure than usual ... in part, I think, because there is a shift underway that involves letting go of something to create space for something new that I am just barely beginning to taste. Last month included two big events: first,
Abolishing the Terms of Unison: Ornette Coleman's Aesthetic Marronage
Presented at the Rhythm Changes Jazz Studies Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands on August 26, 2022 Today, I'll be engaging in an exploration of jazz as politics through the musical practices of Ornette Coleman, the visionary midcentury alto saxophonist, composer, and improviser who unabashedly set the tone for much of the
Crash Landing the Bhumi Starship
In the last post on my old blog, written at the end of 2020, I mused that I appeared more and more to be inhabiting a role I called "Professional Buddhist." That took the form of essentially subsuming my professional capacities into the formation of new kinds of sangha, or
Throughout a decade in music journalism and academia, I've conducted dozens of interviews. (A few of my favorites: Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Fred Wesley, Erwin Díaz.) Yesterday, I was reminded of how much I missed those conversations when I found myself on the other side of the interviewer's chair. Alongside
So this is finally happening ... last week, I spoke with three beloved Chilean jazz co-conspirators to confirm their participation in making my debut album, Somewhere Else!!!! / ¡¡¡¡En Otro Lugar!!!! Yes, that's a lot of exclamation points—that flourish is inspired by one of my musical heroes, Ornette Coleman, whose 1958
Another trip around the sun
It's my birthday today, marking the beginning of my 38th trip around the sun. In stark contrast to the one where I ended up in Siberia five years ago [https://lubricity.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/where-in-the-world-am-i/], this year has had me largely in one place—my current home on
Schoenberg Jr. High
This post points to the one piece of music of mine that is currently available online: Schoenberg Jr. High, recorded live with a fantastic trio of Chileans for a concert that I wrote about here [https://ethnomusicologyreview.ucla.edu/content/improvising-global-connection]. Schoenberg Jr. High by Alex W. Rodriguez [https://arodjazz.
To Touch the Earth, Build a Spaceship
Hello, Bhumi Starship! I'm trying on an experiment of doing a little bit of writing at the beginning of my work-day to document and share what I've learned and am learning as an early Core Organizer and now General Coordinator for the Bhumisparsha sangha [https://www.bhumisparsha.org/]. If you're