Marvelous Music Concert Series featuring Rodrigo Rodriguez
When: 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 800 S. Enota Drive, Gainesville
Cost: Adults $15 and students and children free
More info: www.rodrigorodriguez.net or fpcga.org or 770-532-0136
Born into a musically inclined family, Rodrigo Rodriguez began playing guitar very early in his life. In fact, the Quito, Ecuador, native recorded his first album at age 12.
He has traveled all over the world playing for audiences as far away as Hungary and Syria. Now the musician has settled in Greenville, S.C., with his wife and agent, Mary Rodriguez, but he is still a musical entertainer.
On Sunday, Jan. 25, he will perform at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville. Tickets are $15 for adults. Students and children are free.
Before his concert, the classical guitarist answered a few questions about his experiences in the music industry and his life spreading the gospel all over the world.
Question: How and when did you decide to be a musician?
Answer: The first time I heard guitar, I was probably around 9 or 10. I would hear the music when my dad and uncle would get together to play and music has been my heart and passion since I was 10.
Q: How did you get into Christian music specifically?
A: I didn’t grow up in a religious environment. Twenty-two years ago, a friend invited me to church where I realized and accepted that music is a gift from the creator. Because I understood that, I asked him if I could use that gift the rest of my life, and to share the gift of God. Music isn’t just for entertainment; I use it to share the gospel.
Q: Why is teaching music so important to you?
A: I like to teach for two reasons. One, because I would like to share classical arrangements ... I want to share to new generations different repertoires, different arrangements of music. I teach those (who) are looking for different pieces other than just the classical style of music.
The second reason teaching music is important to me is to share the gospel through music. I once played in the Czech Republic, in Prague, and I played 10 concerts there. A lot of guitar students asked me about the arrangements I was playing. All of the music I played was “sacred” hymns and other Christian music. I was able to teach them a little about the gospel.
Q: How has traveling all across the world and being surrounded by different music styles affected your own style?
A: When I first began playing, I played more pop music. I then went to classical music school where I trained my brain to play both melody and harmony at the same time. I’ve picked up a little bit of every music style but most of my music is straight classical Christian music or contemporary Christian music. I think every musician needs their own signature style. Mine is 100 percent sacred.
Q: What is your favorite venue to play and how will the Gainesville concert be different from your other concerts?
A: Every place I play is different. Every place I play is a great adventure and a great honor. I really like to play for nonbelievers or those who are curious about God, or have even lost all hope. Those (who) really need God give me an opportunity to explore my calling to Jesus. In Asian countries such as Singapore, Korea and Malaysia I get to share the good news of God. In Europe, there is a lot education and appreciation for music. The Gainesville concert will be similar to many of my other concerts, there won’t be any pressure and like always, I can play sacred music.