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The Pedrito Martinez Group
February 13, 2015 @ 7:30 pm$10 – $35
The Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. The group is an extraordinarily tight and creative unit with a home base gig in Midtown Manhattan at Guantanamera, where they’ve built a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Ravi Coltrane, Taj Mahal, Eric Clapton, John Scofield, Roger Waters, Derek Trucks, Herlin Riley, and Will Lee.
Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, and began his career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with Cuban legends Tata Güines and Muñequitos de Matanzas. He toured in Canada with Spirits of Havana, then entered and won the Thelonious Monk Institute Competition’s first-ever showcase for Afro-Latin Hand Drumming. As a member of Yerba Buena, he recorded two albums and toured the world opening for Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. He’s contributed to more than 100 records and collaborated with Paquito D’Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Conrad Herwig, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bill Summers and Los Hombres Calientes, Arturo Chico O’Farrill, Bebo Valdés, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, and Sting, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. He was featured in the documentary film on Cuban music, Calle 54 and his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, Academy Award-nominated, Chico and Rita.
Current band members include percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; pianist, trumpeter, arranger and composer, Edgar Pantoja-Aleman and from Santiago de Cuba; and singer Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela.
“Complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk.”