Daniel Rodriguez, known as "the singing policeman," is a New York City police officer and dedicated musical amateur who is combining his love for music with his avocation as one of New York's finest.
Rodriguez grew up listening to Mario Lanza, and studied voice for a time with some of the same coaches Lanza used. But Rodriguez was forced to abandon his dream of a career in music when the reality of supporting his young family finally outweighed his ambition to become an artist. In 1995, Daniel Rodriguez joined the New York City Police Department which has a policy of not ignoring the extracurricular talents of their officers. The NYPD maintains a staff of about a half-dozen "singing" police officers to perform at city functions as a matter of routine. Rodriguez soon joined this elite force.
Rodriguez was on duty when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
collapsed in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. He was engaged to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at a memorial service for the victims of the attack held at Yankee Stadium a short time later. In Rodriguez' case, it was one of being in the right place at the right time as legendary tenor and impresario Placido Domingo was in attendance. Domingo was impressed by Rodriguez' performance and granted an audition to the aspiring police officer/tenor.
The result of the audition was that Rodriguez was granted a three-month leave of absence to retrain his voice with the Washington Opera, where Domingo serves as musical director. EMI was quick to offer Rodriguez a recording contract, and his debut CD, God Bless America, made its bow in December of 2001.
Rodriguez has been quoted as saying "Watching the Twin Towers collapse didn't make me sing any better. But the passion for the music has changed and for what I represent: The comfort and the feeling of national pride that I bring now more than I did before."
That sort of attitude carried over into the next year, when he pulled together several of his favorite collaborators and released the similar Spirit of America. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis