Rodrigo Bonelli began his study of the drum set at the age of 11 in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The next several years were spent practicing and eventually teaching in Rio, followed by majoring in music education at Uni-Rio. While attending Uni-Rio, Rodrigo was granted a scholarship to continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In 2004, Rodrigo was funded by Berklee to tour the United Kingdom as part of an international jazz Quartet. Upon graduating from Berklee in 2005 with a bachelors degree, Rodrigo's compositions were chosen for Volumes 30 and 31 of Berklee's annual CD, featuring selective student works. While living in Boston, Rodrigo was a student of the world renowned drummer and teacher, Bob Gullotti of The Fringe. In addition to his continued study of the drum set, Rodrigo maintained a busy performing schedule throughout the United States and New England at such established venues as Scullers and Ryles Jazz Club.
Known for his impeccable groove, great taste and versatility, Rodrigo maintains a busy recording schedule as well as performing throughout the United States and the New York City area, where he currently resides.
In 2007, Rodrigo's tune "Waiting For You" was featured on the Brazilian program, "Manhattan Connection" found on the GNT channel. His drumming can be heard on the song "Interior Design" by singer/composer Julie Lavendar on the Jazziz 2010 CD entitled Signs Of The Times, and the Two Worlds Quartet's album, Stream of Stars which includes three of Mr. Bonelli's original compositions. His modern jazz quintet, the Rodrigo Bonelli Group has been repeatedly featured on BreakThru radio on the Jazz Hole show. In 2013 his composition "Ups and downs" was among the best 10 on the USA songwriting competition.
Throughout his exciting career, Mr. Bonelli has had the privilege of performing with such renowned musicians as George Garzone, Claudio Roditi and Grammy award nominee Heather Schmid, just to name a few. Since moving to New York City, he has worked as the drummer for Carte Blanche and performed with them on HBO's third season premiere party for their hit show Boardwalk Empire. Rodrigo has had the privilege to perform for president Obama in Washington DC in December 2011.
In 2009, Rodrigo received an endorsement by Organic Custom Drums and last year he added Soultone Cymbals to his list of endorsers. More information about his current performing schedule, videos and recent articles can be found at rodrigobonelli.com.
10" Splash "Extreme"
21" Vintage Ride
17" FX "FXO 12"
18" Crash "Custom Brilliant"
13" Hi Hats "Gospel"