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Alfredo Rodriguez: Jazz pianist talks about leaving Cuba; new album ‘Tocororo’


The Caribbean island of Cuba has been in the news a lot lately, mostly in conjunction with the “thawing” of relationships between the nation and the United States, something that will allow for a greater cultural exchange between the two countries. Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez left the island quite some time ago and is now enjoying a life in the US where he works with vaunted musician and producer Quincy Jones. The most recent fruit of their combined labors is Rodriguez’s new album, Tocororo. Rodriguez is currently on tour in the US and he’ll also be appearing with Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July.

We had a chance to speak by email with Rodriguez, who talked about working with Jones and why the album is called Tocororo while also speaking candidly about making the difficult decision to leave Cuba. His insights below are given exclusively to

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