This has to be one of the most incredible stories in Detroit music history. It’s the story of a local musician named Sixto Díaz Rodríguez, stage name “Rodríguez”. Born and based right here in the Motor City, his career initially proved short-lived with two little-sold albums in the early 1970s and some brief touring in Australia. Unbeknownst to him, however, his work proved extremely successful and influential in South Africa, although he was mistakenly rumoured in that country to have committed suicide.
“Searching for Sugarman” is a documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul, detailing the efforts of two Cape Town fans, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out if the rumored death of American musician Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him.
The documentary was the opening film at last years Sundance Film Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival here in Michigan and last night won an Acedemy Award for best Documentary in Los Angeles.
As it turns out, “Rodríguez” is alive and well at the age of 71 and still living in Detroit. In fact, he was a guest at UDetroit Cafe in Detroit in December of 2011. He performed “Last Request” by Paulo Nutini.
UDetroit Cafe is owned by brothers Mark and Brian Pastoria who also own Harmonie Park recording studios above the cafe. This performance was mixed by Mark Pastoria.