Walter Rodrigues, Jr. was born in Brazil into a family of musicians. His mother was a pianist, and his father a multi-talented minister. Growing up in his father’s church, Walter was constantly exposed to music and started playing the guitar at a very young age.
Fascinated by the sounds of Joe Pass, Walter soon started to work on his own Jazz fingerstyle arrangements. In 1989, he moved to California to attend the Musicians Institute, in Hollywood, where he had the great fortune of studying with Joe Diorio, Scott Henderson, and Peter Sprague among others. Upon graduation, Walter relocated to Miami, FL, where he received a full scholarship to attend the Jazz Performance program at Florida International University. He later graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1996.
Based in Miami, Walter gained valuable experience having performed with many notable musicians, including world renowned Arturo Sandoval among others, as well as having participated in Jazz festivals both in the United States and abroad.
With rave reviews from Jazz musicians and publications such as Just Jazz Guitar magazine, Walter’s first instrumental album, Beyond Words (2003) earned him a respected place as a composer, producer, and instrumentalist in the professional music world. With his latest recording, My Favorite Hymns, and his arrangements for solo jazz guitar being sold to more than 30 countries around the world, Walter has captivated a new audience. His ability to reinterpret familiar hymns and give them interest has garnered world-wide appreciation for his creative approach to otherwise traditional music.
Walter has been featured in various jazz publications such as Fingerstyle360, JazzReview.com, FingerstyleGuitarists.com among others, and is a regular contributor of the Fingerstyle Guitar Journal magazine. He has also become a highly respected solo Jazz guitarist on YouTube. With over 5 million hits, Walter’s YouTube channel has become a worldwide source and reference for solo Jazz guitar arrangements.
Most recently, Hal Leonard has published Walter’s new book “Hymns for Solo Jazz Guitar,” which has received rave reviews from guitar players around the world.
Besides composing, arranging and performing, Walter has worked as a music educator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools for over 17 years, and maintains an active teaching schedule.
Walter’s greatest joy and honor is to praise God with his music. He states: “There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing people being touched by God’s love through the anointing of music!”