Alex W. Rodriguez is a writer, musician, and organizer. He now lives in Holyoke, MA, serving on the Board of Directors for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and organizing with the Bhumisparsha Tantric Buddhist community.
Alex graduated with his BA in Music from Amherst College, the first Trombone Performance major in the College’s history. He later completed an MA in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers University. During his time at Rutgers, Alex started writing about jazz for a living, contributing jazz-related coverage for The Newark Star-Ledger, NPR Music, and WBGO. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 2011 to pursue a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. He continued to contribute jazz coverage to NPR Music and served as the Editor in Chief for the open access academic journal Ethnomusicology Review in 2014. He also co-founded the UCLA Omni-Musicality Group with Steven Loza and was Assistant Director for the UCLA Jazz Orchestra. His PhD research—on jazz clubs around the world and the creative communities that sustain them—was based on fieldwork conducted in Los Angeles, California from 2012-2016, Santiago, Chile from 2015-2016, and Novosibirsk, Siberia in fall 2016.
After completing fieldwork, he returned to his hometown of Portland, OR. During this time in Portland, Alex completed his dissertation while serving as the Director of Jazz Ensembles at Reed College. He also helped to revitalize the local chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, worked as a Field Organizer for the campaign to elect Jo Ann Hardesty to the Portland City Council, joined the Board of Directors for the International Society for Improvised Music, and started writing for DownBeat Magazine.
He moved back to Massachusetts in 2019, where he taught African American Music and Global Pop at Babson College in Wellesley and completed the Center for Deep Listening’s Teacher Certification Program. He now works as an organizational and educational consultant with various nonprofit groups including Bhumisparsha, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, and The Emergence Network.