Drummer and composer, Rodrigo holds a bachelor's and a Master's degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He has played and/or recorded with several jazz, classical and pop artists from Mexico, Perú, Korea, Japan and the U.S. Among them are Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton, Eddie Gomez, Kelly Sill, Fareed Haque, Ed Saindon, Clark Terry, Eddie Henderson, Jimmy Owens, Liam Teague, Rodolfo Sanchez, Lee Tomboulian, Hiro Morozumi, Jangeun Bae, Carlos Guedes, Takayoshi Yoshioka, Jon Anderson, Carlos Prieto, Roberto Limón, Sandra Kaye, Carla White, and the Mexican pop icons Lucero and Alejandro Fernandez.
As a composer, he has arranged and/or sequenced music for pop artists and has published several original compositions for jazz big band. As an educator Mr. Villanueva has taught drum-set courses, clinics and workshops at many institutions in Mexico, Peru, Korea, Japan and the U.S. He is currently assistant professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches jazz drums, jazz arranging, and coaches the NIU Jazz Lab Band, winner of the first place at the 2008 edition of the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival. Rodrigo performs regularly with his jazz trio/quartet, the U.N. Jazz Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group, the Sada Jazz trio, Liam Teague's Panoramic, the Carolina Jazz Collective, and the Jan Wheaton Jazz Quartet. He endorses Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Latin Percussion instruments and Evans Drumheads, in addition he is a member of Vic Firth's education team.