Willy Rodriguez is a Latin GRAMMY-winning drummer, percussionist and bandleader. He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and began playing drums at age thirteen. He received his musical start playing throughout Puerto Rico in rock and pop bands. When Willy was twenty-one he started working as the Musical Director and drummer for Latin American Idol’s touring group. Following his experience at Idol, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in 2007. His reputation as a skilled musician spread quickly in the Boston area and he began playing extensively with musicians such as Jason Palmer and Andre Heyward. At Berklee, Willy studied with a host of famed teachers such as Terri-Lyne Carrington, Yoron Israel, Ralph Peterson and Greg Osby. He was awarded the Evans/Daddario scholarship during his time at Berklee. Willy's reputation grew due to his association with Wally’s Jazz Cafe, the famed jazz club located in Boston’s historic South End, where he conducted the famous weekend jam sessions. Eventually, Willy began performing every Thursday at Wally’s with his salsa group ‘The 427 Flavah Factory'.
In 2014, Willy graduated from New England Conservatory with a Master’s degree in Jazz Drum Performance. At NEC, he studied with Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, Miguel Zenon, Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Moses, among others. He has performed alongside some of the premier musicians in jazz and Latin jazz including Jason Palmer, Papo Vasquez and Dave Liebman, with whom he has recorded and played with extensively. In addition to his work in jazz, he has performed and/or recorded with an extensive list of genre-spanning artists including Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Mon Laferte, Domino Saints, and more. In 2019, he won a Latin GRAMMY for his work on Mon Laferte's 'Norma'. Willy recorded the self-titled seventh album by The Mars Volta, released in 2022 after a ten-year hiatus.