Special Concert Reviews

The past is present in this special interview feature by artist Leticia Rodriguez, in which she touches on what made for powerful and memorable musical performances for her as an artist and a fan.

Which five concerts/performances have you attended that moved you for the musical ability and skill of the artist or band?

Artist: Elton John and Carol King
Place: Music Hall, Houston, Texas
Year: 1973

My first music concert to attend as a “fan.” Elton John’s compositions combined with Bernie Taupin’s lyrics were an unforgettable combination. Elton John brought classical music to the rock and pop world in a way never before experienced. He still does. Carol King’s compositions and personal poetry spoke to me as a woman, as well as great artist. (There were few women in the music business at that time.) She was a great mentor with her integrity as an artist, her countless contributions to the music industry and authentic delivery.

Artist: Alejandro Saenz
Place: George Brown Center
Year: 2005

My first taste of a well-loved Latin pop star. I had attended concerts of other musicians in Mexico City, but never had I experienced this kind of adoration for an artist. The love and adoration felt was mutual between the artist and his fans. Theatricality, communication, professionalism, incredible musicianship of all band members was palpable. I realized at that time how much hard work and physical endurance one had to possess in order to generate such energy and memorable music.

Artist: Omara Portuondo
Place: Paramount Theatre – Austin, Texas.
Year: 2011

She has a vocal richness and depth that I return to again and again. A Cuban artist, Omara began as a dancer. One can feel the various Afro-Cuban music just watching the way she incorporates her voice with her body. I learn from this woman. Great musicianship combined with spirit and grace.

Artist: David Rodriguez
Rehearsal: In a house
Year: several times, one being 1990 approx.

There was good reason that David, my brother, won best singer/songwriter in Austin, [Texas] over a period of years in the 1970’s. He wrote songs that echo a kind of Towns Van Zandt poetry, but with a social, political, Latin flavor. During rehearsals with David, it was like being with a lightening bug; facile, mutable, spontaneous and brilliant. His irreverence and fierce independence from social mores created original music that haunts, then and now.

Artist: Philip Rodriguez
Place: A studio recording session
Year: 2005

To watch Philip playing is to plow the land. His tonality, consistency as a performer and attention to detail and phrasing is unforgettable. His music is a meditation on life. Authentic. Original. Spiritual.