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Rich Rodriguez started playing guitar in church at the age of thirteen and it wasn’t until the age of twenty-seven that he considered switching over to bass, and it was only because a friend was setting up a “Christian Salsa” band and was in need of a bass player.
On guitar, Rich was influenced by the sounds of Al DiMeola and George Benson. However, since transitioning to bass, those influences quickly veered towards the great sounds of Ruben Rodriguez, John Benitez, and Oskar Cartaya to name a few.
His interests grew as he played with Christian Salsa bands like Orquesta La Gloria de Cristo, Orquesta Inspiration and Orquesta Xariz. He also listened to bands like Eliezer Espinoza, Orquesta Rubi, Richie Rey & Bobby Cruz, David and Abraham and Marisol Soto.
His current musical influences cover a wide range, partly because of his respect for other cultures/genres. He is also inspired by all bass players he listens to. Most bass players would use names like Victor Wooten, Jeff Berlin, Marcus Miller, etc. And though many of those musicians are a huge part of his listenership, which he admires and respects very much, the bass players he is closest to are the ones that he has had the honor and pleasure of sitting down with and spending quality time with. They include Ruben Rodriguez, Oskar Cartaya, Danny Hernandez, Joshua Lozada, and Hector Ostolaza. These musicians offered their friendship as well as their musical knowledge freely.
He has been fortunate to play in many rewarding musical settings in various genres such as Country, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Reggae, Latin, Contemporary Christian, and Gospel, etc. Spiritually he feels his most rewarding opportunity arose when he got the opportunity to meet and was invited to play with one of his favorite Christian Salsa bands “Orquesta Xariz”. He was so honored to be invited to play with such an anointed and blessed group and even more anointed leaders in Ruben and Wanda Felix.
Currently Rich is a part of the worship team for Grace City Church located in Lakeland, Florida and Grace City Music. He was also the bassist for the worship team at Transformation Church in Middletown, NY and for Country Music Singer Tracy De Lucia (a recording artist out of Nashville, TN), and has had the opportunity to back Christian artists, i.e., Tyrus Morgan, Heather Williams and Zan Fiskum to name a few.