Willy Rodriguez, Musical Director and Pianist for the Tito Puente Jr Orchestra and Former Director of World Re-known salsa group La Excelencia, was born in Washington Heights New York to parents from the Dominican Republic. Willy’s passion for music started at the age of 3 when his father introduced him to the piano.
At the age of 13, Willy auditioned for the prestigious World Re-Known LaGuardia High School of the Professional Performing Arts. While in high school, Willy rebelled from classical music and started listening to salsa music, building a passion for the sounds and history behind the music. He joined his first professional group Los Calientes which later became known as La Excelencia. His experience in La Excelencia as Musical Director caught the eyes of Tito Puente Jr and the rest is history.
Upon graduation from LaGuardia in 2000, Willy was offered a partial scholarship to attend Julliard Music School. He declined the offer and decided to attend Brooklyn College. While at Brooklyn College, Willy pursued a degree in Television and Radio communication. In 2005, his hard work and dedication to Brooklyn College TV & Radio Department helped launched his career at ABC Radio Networks. Finally in 2011, Willy was ready to make his transition into television which lead him to a position at NBC Universal/Comcast and in 2014 Willy left NBC and is now loving his new space at WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)
His former co-workers at ABC Radio referred to Willy as "The Renaissance Man" because he figured out a formula that allowed him to attend Brooklyn College, work full-time and travel the world playing his music. It wasn't easy, but his passion for the Arts was not going to stop him from accomplishing his dreams.
At his current moment Willy is involved in many music projects but his main focus is establishing his Music Booking Agency (The Valens Agency).