BIO

Short Bio:

Kito Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican, Chicano, American artist, multi-instrumental musician, producer and audio engineer from New York City now based in Los Angeles who blends funk, soul, rock, pop, reggae and electronica, seasoned with Latin and world music flavors.  In the tradition of socially conscious songwriters like Curtis Mayfield, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Kito soulfully sings topical lyrics that speak truth to power, heighten social awareness, raise consciousness, and inspire love with the explicit purpose of moving hearts, minds and bodies.  

Kito has performed worldwide, venue highlights include:  

  • Carnegie Hall NYC (2009 and 2014)
  • Penang World Music Festival (Penang Botanical Gardens, Malaysia), Da’ an Park (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena (opening for the Dalai Lama)
  • Moscow International House Of Music and Elista Soccer Stadium (Russia)
  • Google Headquarters (Mountain View, CA)
  • Roxy Club- Prague (Czech Republic)
  • The House Of Blues Sunset Strip (Hollywood, CA)
  • The Cumberland County Civic Center (Played Bass and sang backup for Patti Smith on “The People Have The Power”)
  • CBGB’S NYC, among many other community and cultural centers, universities, and festivals.  

Kito also made the list of considered Grammy nominees for the 2014 World Music award as bass guitarist and mix/mastering engineer on ARC Music release “Lam La Che (On The Road)” with Tibetan/ World Music Group “TECHUNG”, featuring blues master Keb Mo’ on the title track.

Kito performs on the soundtracks for:

  • “Eat Pray Love” (Sony/Columbia pictures film “starring Julia Roberts directed by Ryan Murphy)
  • “Dalai Lama Renaissance” (starring H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, narrated by Harrison Ford)
  • “A Good Day To Die” (documentary film about the life of Native American leader Dennis Banks and the formation of the American Indian Movement, A.I.M.) available on Netflix and Epix

For more professional experience as a recording engineer, boom operator and music producer please visit: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphkitorodriguez

Background/ History:

Kito Rodriguez was born in East Harlem NYC.  He was raised in East Harlem, South Bronx and Jamaica Queens by a Chicana mother (OG gangster from L.A.) and a Newyorican father (Marine, Vietnam vet and career law enforcement).   Kito was surrounded by the sounds of Salsa, Bogaloo, Motown, Disco, Hip Hop and gunshots.

After the early death of his mother from AIDS in the late ’80’s, Kito started playing music in his friend’s garage heavy metal group at 13.  But he quickly became hooked on other genres such as funk and jazz, and was then heavily influenced by reggae, dancehall and the Soca music blaring from the “Dollar Vans” run by the Caribbean immigrant community that would take him from the bus stop to his home during his high school years.

During this time, Kito got into trouble running with the wrong crowd and was sent to an alternative high school in NYC that was housed in the Johnny Colons East Harlem Music School, which turned out acts such as Tito Nieves and Marc Anthony.  There, Kito studied the basics of Salsa music and received his high school diploma.

In the mid- to late-90’s, Kito studied bass at Nassau Community College and immersed himself in the NYC House music/ Rave scene.  He eventually ended up at the Institute Of Audio Research where he graduated from the Audio Engineering and Music Production Program.

Kito performed around NYC with his original funk groups for a few years. In 2000, he moved north and started the first working Salsa band based out of Portland, Maine called “Dulce De Leche”.  They performed for a few years touring around the Northeast and left a lasting legacy of “Salseros” who were their friends, students and former bandmates.

In 2007, he again moved with his then growing family to Los Angeles where he performed around the L.A. music scene with various local groups.  His best friend and former bandmate Michel Tyabji recruited Kito to perform with Tibetan/World Music artist Techung around the world.  In 2014, Kito left the Tibetan group to work on solo projects.