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LaunchPoint: Jazzy Artisan

Larissa Hofman







By Larissa Hofmann
Director of Communications
Edge Factor

When Daniel Rodriguez’s older brother, Luis needed a bass player to complete his high school garage band, he looked to his younger brother. “Luis got this crazy idea of teaching a little, scrawny 8 year old kid how to play a bass that was twice his size,” said Daniel Rodriguez in his LaunchPoint interview. From then on, Daniel was hooked. His love for music and playing bass became a great passion and Daniel remarked, “Music has always been a part of my life.”

Attending the Engineering Academy at Hawthorne High School opened the door for Daniel to dive in to Project Lead The Way’s hands-on learning projects. “Through PLTW, students learn to identify problems, design solutions, create prototypes, and test and refine their work,” commented David Dimmett, Sr. VP and CEO of PLTW.

From 3D computer design to CNC machining and robotics, Daniel became just as passionate about manufacturing as he was about music! Determined to learn more about machining, Daniel graduated from Hawthorne and only a week later, enrolled in his first classes at El Camino College. That summer, Daniel met Eric Carlson, the Instructor of his Machine Tool 101 class. “Students like Daniel show how they can take those skills and turn them into a great career. It encourages me as an instructor- I only succeed if my students succeed,” Eric remarked.

While he continued his studies at El Camino, Daniel stumbled upon his dream instrument: a fretless bass guitar. Through his research, he discovered Rob Allen Guitars, a small company that manufacturers high end, custom guitars. Daniel immediately tied up his Converse kicks and walked down the road to Rob Allen’s shop. After connecting with Rob in person, Daniel soon found himself working for Rob, using cutting edge technology to manufacture guitars! Daniel’s eyes had been opened to a whole new world of possibilities. No longer needing to choose between a career in the music industry and manufacturing, Daniel was enjoying the best of both worlds.

A short time later, Daniel hit a crossroads. The “big dogs” in the manufacturing industry were in hot pursuit of his talent and wanted him to come work for them. “I really love music and I really love manufacturing... and the two worlds had just met in my life,” Daniel reflected. With the thought, “This is where I need to be,” Daniel made a critical choice for his career pathway. Choosing to stay at Rob Allen Guitars, Daniel knows he made the right call. “Manufacturing was going to fund music. But now, the two work together...I'm really excited for my future in manufacturing. There are just too many ideas in my head of things I'd like to do. I’m only scraping the surface... and the possibilities are endless,” concluded Daniel.

For Daniel Rodriguez, this is his LaunchPoint.

Visit for more information.

Published Date : 3/7/2014

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