Inspired by a home life filled with music, Rodney took up the drums upon joining the junior band in the 4th grade. By the time he reached high school in Westchester, New York, he'd already decided to become a professional musician. When he graduated, although he'd earned a music scholarship to Long Island University he chose to go out on his own. And influenced by the likes of such great jazz drummers as Max Roach, Art Blakey, kenny Clark, and Tony Williams, as well as drummers like Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Holmes began getting jazz gigs and recording sessions.
Although he was not part of the inner circle in the New York music scene, Holmes' talent soon caught the attention of keyboardist, composer and musical visionary, Clyde Criner, who taught at LIU as well as at the New England Conservatory. Dr. Cryner took Rodney under his wing and put together a group featuring the young drummer. It was as if Rodney just fell out of the sky. The group recorded two albums, [Clyde Cryner-Behind the Sun] and [The Color of Dark] on RCA/Novus before Criner passed away. Dr. Clyde Criner left an incredible impression on Rodney that was both musical as well as personal. Rodney wanted to keep Criner's progressive and innovative spirit alive.
After his stint with Criner, Holmes met and worked with Jean Paul Bourelly and Victor Bailey, and then joined the group, Special EFX, for two years. With his own taste in jazz evolving toward more open music, Holmes then became a part of the Zawinul Syndicate with Keyboardist Joe Zawinul. It was also around this time that he was introduced to a Guitar player named Mitch Stein. This meeting would later turn into the foundation of a very unique electric trio called the Hermanators.
It was while on tour with Zawinul that Holmes ran into Carlos Santana in a Hotel. Santana had known about Holmes through Criner and the two decided that they'd play together at some point. And it wasn't long before Rodney received an invitation to join the Santana Band for the 1993 tour with Bob Dylan.
Holmes stayed with Santana through the end of the 1993 tour and credits the experience with giving him greater perspective on performing in rock venues to larger audiences. However, he had some other offers and other areas in jazz that he wanted to pursue. So, he joined the Brecker Brothers (performing on their 1994 Grammy winning album, Out of the Loop, and the song, "African Skies"). From that point, Holmes toured extensivley with the Brecker Brothers for two years. Holmes also went on to perform/recorded with Steps Ahead, the incredible Wayne Shorter, Larry and Julian Coryell, Victor Bailey, Leni Stern, and New York guitartist, David Gilmore. Rodney Also went on to tour and record with Santana from 1997 to June of 2000. Playing on the mega hit single "Smooth" with Rob Thomas of Match Box 20, Rodney is now a multi Grammy winner. Now Rodney is persuing new musical and artistic goals with his own music, as well as with other amazing artists.
In 2005 Rodney appeared at the Modern Drummer Festival and got standing ovations.