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From The Navy To Pop Singer

Over the years, Long Island has fostered a wide variety of musicians spanning various genres—including everyone from Billy Joel and Public Enemy to Brand New and Blue Oyster Cult. This trend continues strong today. Currently, there are hundreds of musicians littered across the island. Among them is East Norwich pop singer Steven Rodriguez.

Originally from Brentwood, Rodriguez moved to East Norwich after serving in the US Navy. Upon arriving home from service, Rodriguez’s friend heard him singing and encouraged him to pursue music more seriously.

“When I returned home from the Navy, a good friend heard me singing one day and encouraged me to sing with a band his friend was putting together.”

Since then, Rodriguez has been performing all over the island. Even before his current solo project, he spent time combing the island’s venues, playing dive bars and local gems alike. Since going solo, the pop singer has frequented venues such as Lily Flanagan’s in Islip, Dockside in Port Jefferson, Canterbury Ales and Jack Halyards in Oyster Bay, and even the Steven Talk House out in Amagansett.

Like most artists, Rodriguez strives to refine his craft and establish a fresh sound. While his past experiences help to do this, he also draws from his own well of inspirations and influences.  

“There are many places and people who have helped shape my musical identity, but being the last of seven children and having so much great music handed down to me, I’d have to say my older siblings shaped me most, and beyond my years,” states Rodriguez.

In addition to personal inspirations, the singer draws from musical inspirations including modern artists such as Dave Matthews, Zac Brown and Keith Urban, as well as ‘70s singer-songwriters like David Gates (Bread), Cat Stevens, Billy Joel, and Kenny Loggins. One artist Rodriguez credits especially is Earth, Wind, and Fire.

“My early R&B influences came from music from Earth, Wind and Fire as well as Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, which had changed my life.”

Rodriguez also finds inspiration from books, movies, and collections of photography.

Separate from inspirations, an essential element of music is the writing process. As such, Rodriguez relies on his passion, honesty, and creativity to separate his process from others.

“It usually begins with a melody for either a verse or chorus. Every once in a while I begin with a few chords and start writing lyrics right from the top.”

Ultimately, there isn’t one lone element that defines Rodriguez’s work, but all of these together. As a result, many Long Islanders have been able to connect with the singer and his work.

“Sometimes it’s comparing me to another artist and nine times out of 10 it’s one of my heroes and that makes me very happy. I’ve had a few people ask ‘Wow did that really happen to you?’ which also makes me happy that they’re listening to my words.”

Steven Rodriguez may not be as recognizable as other Long Island names, but he’s hard at work on changing that. Rodriguez released his new album, A Thousand Words, last month and will continue to play the area in support of it. He also plans to continue work on a new album, which he states is now 80 percent done.

His next local appearance will be at Jack Halyards, 62 South Street, Oyster Bay, on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.

News

Tundra, the arctic snowy owl, fixed her golden eyes upon me, clucked her beak, then turned her head, ready for her close-up. Two months earlier she was near death at LaGuardia Airport, emaciated with a broken wing, but was saved by a dedicated group of people called Volunteers for Wildlife. The organization located at Bailey Arboretum in Lattingtown houses not only the rehabilitation hospital for wildlife but has aviaries where the public can see the rescued birds.

Earlier this month at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club, 160 people arrived for the organization’s fundraising gala.

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion.

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”


Sports

Muttontown resident and Kellenberg freshman Ceara Ann Conroy has been named an All-League athlete for Girls Winter Track. The title of All-League is awarded to athletes based on a vote of all the coaches in the NSCHSAA League. All of the Girls Winter Track coaches in the league vote based on the athletes performance during the season, and Conroy’s outstanding performance has earned her the title of All League this year.

The Girls Varsity Lacrosse program at Oyster Bay High School is just in its second year and already it is making a difference. Senior defender Danielle Maggi has committed to play Division III lacrosse at Albright College.

Last year Maggi was recognized as the “Most Improved Player,” and this year she is being recruited to play in college.

Maggi said, “We did very well in our first varsity season last year (12-2). This year we are 100 percent going for the conference. I’m excited we finally have a varsity team.”


Calendar

Women Minding Their Own Business

Thursday, April 24

Dance Concert

Friday, April 25

Harbor and Beach Cleanup

Saturday, April 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com