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Mike Rodriguez

Mike Rodriguez - Trumpet

The Juilliard School's Student Performance Productions Present
November 13, 2008






115 MacDougal Street

                The Juilliard School's Student Performance Productions present The Marshall Gilkes Quintet in a special evening off campus, downtown at The Players Theatre, located at 115 MacDougal Street between Bleecker and West 3rd.  The program features original compositions by young trombone virtuoso Marshall Gilkes.

                Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, and $20 general admission and can be purchased at or at the door on the day of the show.  For more information please call The Players Theatre at (212) 475-1449 or visit

Young trombone virtuoso Marshall Gilkes is forging new grounds and receiving high acclaim from critics in the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia.  Born in Camp Springs, Maryland, Mr. Gilkes spent his childhood growing up in many different parts of the country traveling with his father, a musician in the Air Force, including Washington D.C., New Hampshire, New Jersey, Alabama, Illinois, and Colorado.  He currently calls BrooklynNew York home.
A graduate of The Juilliard School as well as Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Gilkes’ teachers include Joe Alessi, Conrad Herwig, Buddy Baker, Ed Neumeister, and Wycliffe Gordon.
Mr. Gilkes is currently a member of the internationally acclaimed Edmar Castañeda Trio as well as the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and David Berger's Sultans of Swing.  In addition he has performed with Billy Cobham, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Stanley Turrentine, and Benny Golson.  In the Latin community, he has performed with Machito, Giovanni Hidalgo, Chico O’Farrell, Tito Nieves, Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, Raulin Rosendo, Ray Sepulveda, Eddie Santiago, Jose Alberto, and Iroko La Banda.
During the fall of 2001-fall of 2002 Mr. Gilkes played for the National and Japanese tours of the Broadway show “Swing”, and in 2003 was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.
His album credits include two solo releases: the Marshall Gilkes Quintet “Lost Words” and the Marshall Gilkes Quartet "Edenderry", in addition to appearances on Edmar Castañeda’s "Cuarto de Colores" David Berger "Marlowe", Ryan Keberle’s "Double Quartet", Maria Schneider’s "Sky Blue", Big 3 Palladium Orchestra’s “Live at the Blue Note”, and John Fedchock’s "Up and Running". Mr. Gilkes has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan, and the Caribbean, and has performed at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, Panama Jazz Festival, Lincoln CenterTokyo’s Orchard Hall, and the Moscow Conservatory.

                Garnering much acclaim for his latest album “Lost Words”, Gilkes many positive reviews give credit to his much established reputation.  Of his last album, Thomas R. Erdman of Jazz Review wrote:

“Lost Words is Gilkes’ second CD as a leader.  Accompanied by some of New York City’s best and most musically astute young jazz musicians, Gilkes’ disc is one of those rare releases that has so much good music on it the listener can be ensured of solid artistic sentiments and beautiful playing throughout its entire length.  Joining Gilkes is trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, who’s worked with both Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.  Rodriguez brings a unique sense of musical extrapolation, with regard to melodic fragment use in his solos, that is masterful.  His solo on “Titeuf” is wonderfully both in and out at the same time.  It’s almost as if he’s crossing the styles of Freddie Hubbard and Dave Douglas with some type of inner demon, but the result is marvelous.

Pianist Jon Cowherd has raised eyebrows in his work with the Brian Blade Fellowship.  Cowherd’s playing shows an artful touch to the keys in ways Thelonious Monk used to; emphasis on just the right dynamic at just the right time and a sense of harmonic imagination that is tied to the music of the moment and not some preconceived music-school taught voicing concept.  Cowherd’s playing on the mid-tempo ballad “Five Nights,” with his use of occasionally non-traditionally voiced single line juxtapositions to trumpeter’s Michael Rodriguez’s incredible solo, is worth the price of the disc alone.

The drum - bass tandem of Clarence Penn and Yasushi Nakamura are stellar in their utter support of the soloists, yet so incredibly colorful behind melodies it’s hard to believe they’re playing traditional jazz instruments.

Gilkes himself is a monster.  Sweet and angular at the same time, in his playing he finds ways to say something new in this post J.J. Johnson world.  His solo on “What’s Next” is sublime beauty if one doesn’t mind this overused description.  The difference with Gilkes however, is that it’s true.  As a composer Gilkes’ writing will most assuredly soon show up in the repertoire of collegiate combos; it’s supremely artful as a wonderful jumping off point for improvisations and intricate enough that it’s performance will make wonderfully mature study material for young artists.” (

  For more information about the Marshall Gilkes Quintet,
please visit


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