Casimiro D. “Miro” Rodriguez Jr., of Batavia, a Latin music vocalist, bandleader and producer, died Friday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 43.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of West Seneca East High School. He developed a love for Latin soul music, salsa and percussion instruments as a boy and started singing salsa coros, or refrains, at the age of 15, beginning in church settings and Christian bands.
Mr. Rodriguez moved to Lorain, Ohio, and became a lead singer and bandleader for groups such as Orquestra Nissi, the Cleveland Salsa Allstars, Conjunto Carimbo, La Elite and La Formula.
Returning to the Buffalo area, he was featured at First Night in 2013 and in an acclaimed 2014 “Salsa Meets Symphony” program with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Kleinhans Music Hall.
As an arranger, composer and producer, he was involved with many musical projects and was renowned internationally. In 2016, he founded Bea4Real Music Co., inspired by his wife, Beatriz, as an independent showcase for his own music and for upcoming independent salsa artists.
His discography includes “De Ti Depende (Tributo a Hector Lavoe),” “Dejaste,” featuring Awilda Hernandez, and “Salsa en Navidad” with Johnny Vega.
Survivors include his wife, the former Beatriz Camilo; four sons, Sebastian E., Luis A. Ortiz, Eldon Ortiz and Justin Ortiz; his parents, Bedzaida and the Rev. Casimiro Sr., president and founder of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York; two brothers, Pedro A. and Jose M.; a sister, Marisol E.; and a granddaughter.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in The Tabernacle, 3210 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park.