Cocomama - United States
OverviewJessica Rodriguez was born in NYC to Puerto Rican parents. Jessica grew up listening to Salsa music which was played regularly at home. She was first inspired and motivated to play when she saw Pearl artist Marc Quinones perform at Madison Square Garden. At age 15, she attended Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts to study timbales. Her teachers included Jose Madera Jr., Johnny Almendra, and Mauricio Herrera. Jessica was a member of the Harbor’s Latin Youth Ensemble under the direction of Ramon Rodriguez which was featured in Telemundo’s morning TV program Despierta America and in the January 9, 2006 issue of People Magazine.
On October 21, 2003, Jessica, along with six other students, was awarded a scholarship from the Celia Cruz Foundation. Out of those seven students, Jessica and three of the award recipients were selected to perform with renowned Salsa singer Oscar D’Leon at the 2004 Billboard Latin Music Awards held in Miami FL. In 2006, she was featured in the PBS documentary “Mi Mambo”, a profile of the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in East Harlem and its young musicians and performers.
Jessica has been invited to sit in with the likes of Ralph Irizarry y Son Criollo, Jimmy Bosch, Johnny Almendra y Los Jovenes Del Barrio, Michael Stuart, Ray Sepulveda, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Nelson Gonzalez y Orq. alongside the Legendary Nicky Marrero, Chino Nunez and Friends, Frankie Vazquez y Los Soneros del Barrio, Marc Quinones and Bobby Allende’s Ocho y Mas, and Papo Vasquez y Los Piratas del Caribe featuring Pearl artist Richie Flores, Anthony Carrillo, and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez.
She is currently a member of CoCoMaMa, an all female Latin jazz/salsa band, and Billy Carrion Orchestra, both of whom she has recorded with. Jessica is touring with the international salsa group N’Klabe playing bongos and timbales.
In May of 2008, she graduated from Queensborough Community College, majoring in Music/Performing Arts.
“Some are destined to succeed, I am determined to succeed. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”