Irwin “Wito” Rodriguez was born in Chicago of Puerto Rican parents and had his beginnings in the musical field as a singer and musician. During his teen years, he performed with a Rock and Roll band as a guitar player. In1968 Wito decided to move to “La Isla Del Encanto”, Puerto Rico, in order to look for his musical roots and experience the spicy sounds of his beloved Latin Rhythm.
His first encounter in the Salsa Genre was with a 60’s Puerto Rican percussionist named “Chacon y Su Orquesta”, where Wito learned all the Latin rhythms like the Guaguanco, Boogaloo, Mozambique, etc. Chacon was his trainer in Latin percussion instruments and Wito fell also in love with the maracas.
Wito returned to Chicago in 1971 to join “Orquesta La Justicia” a local band that opened shows for artists like Ismael Rivera, Ray Barreto, Willie Colon, El Gran Combo and the legendary “Fania All-Stars”.
Like many young men at the time, in 1973 he decided to join the United States Army and was deployed to Europe. During his stay in Germany Wito had singing lessons with Opera singer Barbra Sutton, and at the same time created two bands by the names of “El Conjunto Sabor” and “La Sonora Antillana”. These orchestras accompanied artists from the Salsa field like Adalberto Santiago, Ismael Miranda, Tito Allen, Santitos Colon, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez and the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz.
After his discharge from the military, Wito joined forces with German bandleader Rudi Fuesers and gave birth to Europe’s Salsa orchestra “Conexion Latina”. With Conexion Latina, Wito recorded two albums; “Calorcito” and “Un Poco Loco”. He also had the great experience of recording two songs with the Big Band Leader and arranger Peter Herbolzheimer. During the late ’80s,
Wito wanted to expand his horizons by forming his own groups called “Wito Rodriguez and Orchestra” and “Wito Con Cache”. Missing his family and friends Wito “crossed the pond” to return to the United States and finish his Army career. Never leaving his passion for music, a new big band sound was in his mind, and once again he returns to the limelight with Wito Rodriguez Salsa Jazz Orchestra under the guidance and musical direction of trumpet player and arranger, Gino Picart.
“What a Wonderful World” or “Que Mundo Maravilloso” is his third album released on January 2015. Although keeping busy in 2016 with live performances, a new album had also been produced and recorded between Venezuela South America and Orlando, Florida. The latest production named “Como el Viento” will be released in 2017. This album contains a compilation of songs recorded over the years in Europe that never made it to the western hemisphere. Hope you enjoy his first solo release…. What a wonderful world!
In 2018 Wito released another CD named “The Best of Wito” which has a mix of all the songs that the fans seemed to like the best and honored their preferences. Wito also has four new singles that he has released from his new Album which will be available ending Feb 2019. Through the internet platforms, you could find these releases. Soy Caribe, Yo No Te Echo La Culpa, Always and Forever, and Now and Forever, are the ones released so far. As a bilingual singer, I am blessed to bring to the music industry in my songs, by singing them in English & Spanish, unity through my music in a mix of salsa and R&B, etc. In the year of 2018. Wito was blessed to be nominated at the (HMMA) Hollywood Music Media Awards in Los Angeles, CA in November 2018. Also above you can see his certificate as an honoree in the Fox Music Awards USA, Miami in Nov 2018, Which he was honored for being Army Veteran Salsero Singer. Chicago Salsa Congress was one of his big events in 2018. On March 8 of 2019 the third release of the CD & Vinyl of SOY Distinto Y Diferente. The song Soy Caribe from the new cd & Vinyl is nominated at the Hollywood Media Music Awards happening November 20, 2019, in Hollywood California