John grew up in New York City at a time when it was the heart and soul of Latin Jazz in this country. At 17 years old John earned a place playing bongos in the Tito Puente Orchestra . This was the beginning of John’s career and of a lifetime association with the King of Latin Music, Tito Puente. John spent over 30 years with the Tito Puente Orchestra, also working with Tito Rodriguez from 1965 to 1968 and with Ray Barretto from 1970 until the end of 1972.
John went on to form his successful ‘Tipica 73’ band in 1972, which he was with until 1979. Following this he went back to work with Tito Puente, playing alongside him until the time of his death in May of 2000. Shortly after Tito’s death the Puente estate decided to stop any further performances under the Puente name. With dedication to their music and fans John got together with Jose Madera and Mitch Frohman and they formed the Latin Giants Orchestra in 2001.
Under John’s leadership the band has released two albums which have been recognized internationally. Staying on top ten charts worldwide. Over the course of this career, John has been recognized as one of the greatest players and innovators of Latin music. Working with Martin Cohen, John has opened many doors for Latin performers spurring a recognizable change in Latin performers’ abilities to entertain in Europe and around the world.
Today, John refuses to rest on his laurels and continues to work tirelessly to promote Latin music and further its progression worldwide. He is very active with the Mambo Legends Orchestra (along with fellow LP artists Jose Madera and George Delgado), which features the stars of the former Tito Puente Orchestra. The band performs the famed Palladium days music of Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, and Machito, and also recorded The Giants Play the Music of the Palladium.
In 2009, John entrusted LP's Research and Development Department with developing the LP Legends Series John "Dandy" Rodriguez, Jr. Bongos. The drums have sound and visual features that John is proud to have his name on.