Born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Hector Maximo Rodriguez developed his musical talents at the early age of 8, playing typical Puerto Rican music on the bongos when he was still living on the Island. In 1975, at the age of 9, his family moved to Springfield, MA . (USA) . In elementary school, he made friends with a kid(Rafael Torres) that played guitar, and he taught Maximo his first chords . From that time on, Maximo discovered that the strings were his real passion. Six months later, he became a bass player and started a trio in school, which he was also the singer.
With only 11 years of age, he made $25.00 on his first paying gig in the city of Newark, New Jersey. A year later he formed a sextet called Juventud 77 adding a brass section later in 1982. This is the real beginning of his musical career. Interested in learning and improving his musical talent, Max enrolled at The Springfield Music Conservatory at the age of 15, where he studied Piano & Music Theory with Gloria La Riviere. One of his first breaks came in 1982 when he joined The Ray Gonzalez Orchestra from Hartford, CT as a bassist, and The Jimenez Brothers Orchestra as one of the lead singers along with Domingo Quinones.
Later that year he started traveling back and forth to the music scene in New York City, backing up singers like Marvin Santiago, Paquito Guzman, Lalo Rodriguez, Andy Montanez, Luisito Carrion, Pedro Conga Y Su Orquesta Internacional, Pedro Arroyo, Nino Segarra, Angel Canales Orchestra, and many more. In 1992, Maximo recorded background vocals along with Mario Cora, Josue Rosado, and Carlos Vega, for the Paquito Guzman Production CD titled, Directo al Corazon.
It was in 1999 when Maximo decided to make New York City his steady home and joined The Rafael De Jesus Orchestra. He was then solicited by the most popular NYC bands and singers like Celia Cruz, Cuco Valoy, Adalberto Santiago, Jose Alberto EL Canario, Conjunto Clasico, Johnny Ray Y Salsa Con Clase, La India, Isidro Infante Orchestra. Kevin Ceballos, George Lamond, Frankie Negron, Cano Estremera, Jimmy Bosch, Eddie Palmieri, Frankie Vazquez y Los Soneros del Barrio, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda, Junior Gonzalez, Son Boricua w/Jimmy Sabater y Jose Mangual Jr., Ralphy Irizarry Y Son Cafe, and many others.
In 2001, Maximo was part of the popular off Broadway show called, La Lupe -My life, My Destiny, along with Jimmy Delgado, Johnny Rivero Little Johnny, and actress/singer, Sully Diaz, from Puerto Rico. In 2002, He directed, produced, arranged, and recorded bass for Cuco Valoys CD titled, Que Gobiernen Las Mujeres!
In 2003, Max joined The Spanish Harlem Orchestra Directed by Pianist and arranger Oscar Hernandez, and recorded the Grammy award winning CD titled Across 110th, featuring Ruben Blades. In 2004, he recorded with Jimmy Bosch the CD titled, EL Avion De La Salsa. In 2005, recorded with the most popular Colombian salsa orchestra, Jairo Varelas Grupo Niche, the CD titled, Grupo Niche ALIVE. In 2006, Maximo Rodriguez directed, produced, and recorded bass and background vocals along with Pedro Pedrito Martinez and Ray Castro, for Johnny Rivero Little Johnny on the CD titled, Pasos Gigantes.
That year he also recorded with Ray Castro Conjunto Clasico as a bassist and background vocalist along with Ramon Rodriguez and Ray Castro on the CD titled, Si Ella Estuviera. In that year, Max recorded for many other artists such as Ray Rodriguez Y Su Swing Sabroso in which Max arranged La Rumba Que Te Cura. Ralphy Santi Y Su Conjunto Cd Titled, Todavia Tengo Ansia , and Manny Mieles, Sabrosexy Plin ,that he recorded as a bassist, background vocalist, and also co-produced. And lets not forget Oscar Hernandezs production of The Spanish Harlem Orchestra Grammy nominated CD, United We Swing. In 2007, Maximo recorded the CD titled, What I want, on bass and background vocals with Cuban singer, Ileana Santamaria (Mongo Santamarias Daughter) along with Cuban percussionist/vocalist Pedro Pedrito Martinez. Other recordings that year also includes: Frankie Morales, A Toda Velocidad, in which Maximo did a compilation of Ay No, originally arranged by Luis Cruz. Chino Nunez & Friends, Its Show Time, Alex D Gambo, Simplemente Alex D Gambo, and The Black Sugar Sextet, Estamos Azucar… Lucho Cueto Presents Black Sugar, in which Maximo recorded background vocals.
The year 2008 brought many other new recordings. Maximo, recorded background vocals along with Ray Castro for the Luis Blasinis CD titled, Blasini Iroko La Banda. Also recorded bass & background vocals along with Jose Mangual Jr. for the CD production, Noel- Pensando En Ti, produced by Lucho Cueto. There are many other recordings including Christian music productions. Maximos latest production is for Jesus Pagan, (singer and composer from Massachusetts) a production titled, Salsa De La Mata – From The Roots, which he directed, arranged, recorded bass, and background vocals along with Ray Castro. This production is now nominated for The Paoli Awards 2008. It has great reviews, and is selling well in the music market.
Throughout his music career Maximo has toured coast to coast and to Countries like, Colombia, Denmark, Venezuela, Israel, Turkey, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, The West Indies, China, and Morocco. He has performed in the most prestigious halls and theatres like, The London Palace, The Sydney Opera House, Madison Square Garden, and Carnegie Hall to name a few. He has performed at the most famous music jazz festivals like, The JVC Jazz Festival, The Heineken Jazz Festivals in San Sebastian, Spain and Puerto Rico, The Newport Jazz Festival, The Jazz Domain Festival in Sydney, Australia, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Bellevue Jazz Festival, and The Playboy Jazz Festival (Hollywood Bowl).
Today Maximo keeps himself busy performing, arranging, recording, and doing workshops in schools to educate children along with Louis Bauzo. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to share the music given talent with future generations. And to bring joy to those people that are really my inspiration.
By Pete Nater
|2011||Tributo a Louie Ramirez: Amanece y Sigue Caliente||Michael Stuart||Bass|
|2007||United We Swing||Spanish Harlem Orchestra||Guitar (Bass), Member of Attributed Artist|
|3rd Element||Luisito Quintero||Bass, Guest Artist|
|Choco Swing||Choco Orta||Arreglos|
|Este Es Mi Conjunto||Ray Castro/Conjunto Clasico||Arreglos, Coro, Producer|
|Rumba Para Viena||Clave Sonera||Choir/Chorus, Musician|