Band Feature: Rodrigo y Gabriela – Acoustic Guitar Prowess

Meet the Mexican acoustic guitar duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela. The duo is made up of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero. They were born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and have been active since the year 2000. Rodrigo y Gabriela has quite the grass to grace story; however, their talent is not to be disregarded. In 2020, they won a Grammy Award in the category “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” for their fifth album, titled Mettavolution, which means “evolution through compassion.” In 2010, they also performed at the White House for President Obama.

Rodrigo and Gabriela are guitar players who play the Yamaha NX series electro nylon string guitars. Rodrigo Sanchez plays the slimmer neck, which is called the NTX1200, while Gabriela Quintero plays the NCX2000 as well as the NCX1200. Rodrigo y Gabriela’s music paints vivid images of life. With each tune, you’re swept up into whatever world Rodrigo y Gabriela desires, and the descent is just as glorious. From jazz to rock, this duo does it all.

Rodrigo y Gabriela has its roots in heavy metal. Gabriela met Rodrigo at the House of Culture in Mexico City when they were fifteen. Rodrigo’s brother was the director, and when they met, they quickly realized they were both interested in heavy metal. Rodrigo formed a band in the following years called Tierra Ácida, which means Acid Land. It was a heavy metal band. Gabriela joined the band in 1993 after they couldn’t find a guitarist Rodrigo liked. A few years later, when their record deal didn’t work out, Gabriela and Rodrigo, who were already dating at the time, left Mexico City and moved to Ixtapa, where they played for a few months. In 1999, they moved to Dublin, Ireland, where they finally had their big break. 

Rodrigo y Gabriela is influenced by heavy metal, flamenco, jazz, and rock music. This is evident in their music which is quite special. They are known for making a different kind of music. A critic once mentioned that their playing style was quite simple. What really drew crowds to them was their open heart, resourcefulness, and sheer happiness they exhibited whenever they got to perform. This is why they are so favored. People simply just want to have a good time.

Rodrigo y Gabriela’s style is often described as “instrumental, acoustic flamenco rock music.” which is quite contradictory because of the opposition between acoustic music and rock. However, they do make it work. Their guitar prowess is something you can only understand when you see them perform. They play really fast, which can be mesmerizing and confusing at times but it is truly transformative. Rodrigo y Gabriela often performs with a 13-piece Cuban orchestra.

If you’ve never heard about Rodrigo y Gabriela, here are some songs you can listen to. 


If you love Rodrigo y Gabriella, you can listen to them or discover music similar to theirs on Spotify’s Discover Weekly. For music delivered to your home, you can join a vinyl club like Magnolia Record Club.