Rodolfo Zuniga

Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies

Rodolfo Zuniga


Location: CPAC 232
Phone: (657) 278-3598
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Please contact the Music Office 
(657) 278-3511 for current office hours


  • 406S-Jazz Ensemble II (Chamber Jazz Orchestra)
  • 408J-Chamber Music: Jazz Combo
  • 326-Intro to Music Technology
  • 592-Individual Instruction (Jazz Drums)

Drummer and composer Rodolfo Zuniga is a sought-after sideman and educator originally from San José, Costa Rica. He has shared the stage with Gary Campbell, Ira Sullivan, Bill Mays, Silvano Monasterios, Tomasz Dabrowski, Stephen Scott, Troy Roberts, Roxana Amed, Martin Bejerano, Camila Meza, John Hart, Michael Dease, Rotem Sivan, Melissa Aldana, Andy Laverne, Othello Molineaux, Randy Brecker, Lew Tabackin, Don Friedman, Jonathan Kreisberg, Benny Golson, and Slide Hampton, to name a few. 

As an educator, Rodolfo has a wealth of experience, holding previous positions at Florida International University, Broward College and Miami Dade College teaching Jazz, Music Production and Music Business. He has performed and presented at the Jazz Education Network convention and has been a Thelonious Monk Institute Clinician. He has taught masterclasses at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Denmark, The American Modern School of Music in Paris, The Universidad de las Americas in Ecuador, The New World School of the Arts in Miami, The University of Costa Rica, and the Symphonic Conservatory in San José. 

As a leader and composer, his quartet "Surfaces” has released two albums and has been featured in festivals around the US and in Central and South America. In 2005 the group was awarded the Carnegie Hall Residency under the direction of trumpeter Dave Douglas. In that same year Rodolfo was chosen to be part of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Group, with which he toured the U.S. and was featured at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The latest configuration of Rodolfo’s group is an octet featuring the “Surfaces” jazz trio, alongside a string trio, electric guitar, and vocals. 

As a sideman, Rodolfo has toured the world with highly creative jazz projects performing in festivals like The Copenhagen Jazz Festival, The Cully Switzerland Jazz Festival, Jazz Fest Málaga, The Ecuador Jazz Festival, Jazz Sur Le Ville Marseille, The Guatemala Jazz Festival, Ground Up Music Festival, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and The St. Petersburg Jazz Festival. In addition, Rodolfo is the drummer for multi-Grammy award winner and best-selling Latin Pop artist Julio Iglesias. As part of this group, he has performed at iconic venues like The Royal Albert Hall in London, The Kremlin Palace in Moscow, The Dubai Opera House, Rockefeller Center in New York, Luna Park Stadium in Argentina, The Forest Opera in Poland, The Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Israel, and The National Auditorium in Mexico City. 

Rodolfo approaches teaching and performing with an open mind and a hunger to maintain a constant expansion of knowledge in areas such as the intersection of jazz and world music, music technology and nurturing diversity in jazz education. 

Rodolfo is a proud Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks endorser. 

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Last Published 4/18/22

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