Kito Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican, Chicano, Americano artist, singer- songwriter, multi-instrumental musician, producer and audio engineer originally 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. Member of BMI and NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as The Recording Academy “the GRAMMYS”).
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)
- Zebulon (Los Angeles, 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:
Kito Rodriguez was born in “El Barrio” East Harlem, NYC. He was raised in East Harlem, the South Bronx and Jamaica, Queens by a Chicana mother from Los Angeles and a Nuyorican father from New York City. Growing up , Kito was surrounded by the sounds of Salsa, Motown, Disco, Hip Hop, traffic and gunshots.
After the premature death of his mother from HIV/ AIDS in the late 1980’s Kito began playing bass guitar with his junior high school friends in a garage heavy metal band, he started studying privately and quickly became hooked on other music genres such as funk and jazz, and was then heavily influenced by the roots reggae, dancehall and 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 “teen time” a disillusioned young Kito got into trouble running with the wrong crowd at school and was sent by his immediate family to an alternative high school in “El Barrio” that happened to be housed within “Johnny Colon’s East Harlem Music School” which turned out mega Salsa music stars such as Tito Nieves and Marc Anthony. While there, Kito studied the basics of Salsa music with legends such as Gilberto “El Pulpo” Colon, Pepe Castillo and of course, Johnny “Mr. Boogaloo Blues” Colon where he also earned his high school diploma, on time at 17 years old, from the City Of N.Y.
During the mid- to late-90’s, Kito studied upright bass at Nassau Community College with Bassist Carlos Castillo and simultaneously 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 in 1998 after which he interned and assistant engineered at several major NYC recording facilities.
Kito performed around NYC with his original funk groups for a few years. In 2000, he moved north with some close friends and started the first working Salsa music group based out of Portland, Maine called “Dulce De Leche”. They performed for a few years touring around the Northeast region and left a lasting legacy of “Mainer Salseros” who were friends, students and former bandmates.
In 2007, he again moved with his wife and growing family to Los Angeles where he performed around the L.A. music scene with various local groups. His best friend and bandmate Michel Tyabji already living in L.A. recruited Kito to play bass and perform with Tibetan/World Music artist “Techung” where they toured around the world and produced a few albums one of which was pre nominated for a GRAMMY in the World Music category. In 2014, Kito left the Tibetan music group to focus on his now larger family and his solo singer- songwriter/ multi instrumentalist/ producer project.