Michael Rodriguez, leader and featured guitarist of The Brew is one of the most extraordinary talents on both acoustic and electric guitar today, both in carrying powerful, familiar melodies and in improvisation.
Michael, Mark, and Joe Rodriguez began playing music together in Brownsville, Texas, inspired by jazz, blues, and rock and roll artists like George Benson, Al DiMeola, Earl Klugh, and of course, Carlos Santana. Although he never had any formal training on the guitar, Michael used his own perfect pitch to teach himself a multitude of tunes on the acoustic and electric guitars, ranging from rock and roll classics to Latin-jazz favorites. In the 1970s, together with their late brother Rudy formed The Brew and eventually relocated to Austin in the early 1980s. The style of music that the band played changed as a reflection of their evolving musical interests, as The Brew presented a vast repertoire of songs and musical styles to nightclub audiences and private parties. Michael Rodriguez and The Brew have since become an Austin original and a perennial favorite of audiences young and old.
As the lead musician of The Brew, Michael propels the energy level of his audiences through the roof. He renders listeners and even his fellow band members awestruck with rock and roll riffs on his electric guitar during songs like Santana's "Europa" or on an acoustic flamenco-style solo during "Barcelona Nights" by Ottmar Liebert.
Michael co-produced The Brew's first two albums, "In the Beginning" (1990) and "Rio Vista" (1995), which featured smooth jazz and rock and roll style originals, and produced the third "Latin Brew" (2001) and "Rumba Caliente", their latest release. Continually inspired by jazz and Latin artists, The Brew marry fiery Latin-jazz, salsa, and flamenco melodies as well as Latin-inspired renditions of popular, classic ballads, producing yet another testament to this band's incredibly electrifying style of jazz-fusion. Michael's original compositions usually follow one of his many musical influences, such as jazz, rock, or flamenco, but there is always a powerful and nostalgic inspiration behind each piece.