Chino Rodriguez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chino Rodriguez
Chino Rodriguez Then and Now.jpg
Background information
Birth name James Mui
Also known as Chino Rodriguez
Born (1954-02-02) February 2, 1954 (age 60)
Genres Salsa, latin jazz
Occupation(s) Trombonist, impresario
Instruments Trombone
Years active 1965-present
Labels SALSA / Mary Lou Records, Oriente Music Group
Associated acts Larry Harlow, Andy Harlow

Latin Music Booking

Oriente Music Group (OMG)
Notable instruments

Chino Rodriguez (February 2, 1954) is an American musician and impresario, specializing in Latin music, most notably Salsa and Latin jazz.


Chino was born James Mui in New York City on February 2, 1954, in the Little Italy / Chinatown area of Manhattan to a Chinese father (Chueng Mui), who obtained U.S. citizenship by joining the Merchant Marines during World War II, and a third-generation Puerto Rican mother (Gloria Figueroa Rodriguez).

Early music career[edit]

Chino took music at JHS 65 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By his late teens he had met Orchestra Dee Jay in Brooklyn, who soon allowed him into the fold as a band boy, then later as an occasional coro (chorus) singer. Chino formed his first band on the Lower East Side, simply called Chino Rodriguez and his Orchestra in 1968-69, playing weddings, birthdays, and private parties. Through the local musician's union American Federation of Musicians 802 Chino found work playing music for New York City Department of Parks arts program, from 1970 to 1974.

Recording career[edit]

Chino recorded two albums for Ismael Maisonave's label, Salsa Records: Maestro De Kung-Fu,[1] produced by Andy Harlow, and Si Te Vas Mi China,[2][3] produced by Larry Harlow.

Chino onstage with Jose Rodriguez and Lewis Kahn, early 1970s

Maestro de Kung-Fu contained "La Computadora", the first Latin recording using a MOOG synthesizer, played by Larry Harlow.[citation needed] Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez played on "Moonlight Serenade." Chino Rodriguez y La Consagracion was nominated for Latin New York Magazine's award for Best New Band.[4] Chino's second album, Si Te Vas Mi China, was recorded in 1976 after a year's worth of daily rehearsals. It produced two hits upon its release in 1977 and, like his debut album, achieved gold status.[citation needed]

Latin music impresario[edit]

Chino returned to working full-time in the business side of the music industry in 1991, becoming Senior Vice President and General Manager of the newly formed Hidden Faces Records. Chino said in 2010: "I was made an offer to head up a record company call Hidden Faces and produce two of the artists signed. So I did it, I sold my company and went back to the music business with my eyes wide open." As General Producer, Chino streamlined the recording process for the label, choosing projects, music producers, songwriters, arrangers, budgets, and studios personally.

It was immediately evident that while some of the featured artists in Latin music were new, the same business people he had met working behind the scenes in the 1970s were still there. This network was advantageous when Chino decided to start his own businesses. After organizing business operations for Hidden Faces he opened his own artist management company, Chino Rodriguez Management (C.R.M.), and booking agency, OMNI Latino Entertainment (OLE), He opened his offices in Brooklyn, New York and began signing the surviving original pioneers of salsa music: Joe Cuba, Larry Harlow artists had not worked in years.

In 2011 Chino represented Latin hip hop artists Proyecto Uno, bachata artist Domenic Marte, reggaeton duo Edgardo y D'niel, and bachata artist Alfred Martinez.


  • Maestro De Kung-Fu, SALSA Records, 1976. Re-released on CD 2004 by Mary Lou/SALSA Records.
  • Si Te Vas Mi China, SALSA Records, 1977. Re-released on CD 2004 by Mary Lou/SALSA Records.


  1. ^ "Salsa Canal blog". Blogger. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  2. ^ "LP Latini... Salsa y merengue blog". Blogger. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  3. ^ "Mi Melodia blog". Blogger. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  4. ^ Izzy Sanabria, Latin NY, May 1975
  • Flores, Juan. From Bomba to Hip Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-231-11077-8
  • Leymarie, Isabelle. Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8264-6566-5
  • Washburne, Christopher. Sounding Salsa: Performing Latin Music in New York City. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-59213-316-1

External links[edit]