The Pedrito Martinez Group; Monday, December 9, 2013

The Pedrito Martinez Group
Monday, December 9, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

“… an incomparable performer.”  –New York Times

Cuban vocalist and percussionist Pedrito Martinez has been performing onstage since he was eleven-years-old, and it shows through his high-energy concerts. Now based in New York City, Martinez has established himself among the musical elite, gigging with Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano, Sting and touring with the Afro-Beat group Yerba Buena.  As The New Yorker put it, “if anyone can move Afro-Cuban music into greater visibility, it’s Martinez.”  His group features fellow percussionist Jhair Sala, bassist Alvarado Benavides, and keyboardist/singer Ariacne Trujillo. This marks Martinez’ encore performance in 2013, touring in support of a brand new release, after his debut, sold-out visit to Kuumbwa back in June.

Born in Havana, in 1973, Martinez was still a young boy when he began performing with some of Cuba’s greatest musical legends, among them Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanzas. Whether singing or playing percussion, Martinez impressed many of the veteran performers with his intuitive talent for music. It was saxophonist Jane Bunnett who brought him to Canada in 1998 to gig with Spirits of Havana, her Latin jazz group. In 2000, Martinez entered and won the Afro-Latin Hand Drumming category in the first year it was featured at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute Competition.

Martinez made a permanent move to New York City in 2000, and was featured soon after in the Cuban music documentary film, Calle 54.  Once in NYC, Martinez started his own band while continuing to utilize his abilities as a sideman for a long list of top musicians, including Eddie Palmieri, Steve Turre, Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, Stefon Harris, Bebo Valdes, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Eliane Elias, Isaac Delgado and Cassandra Wilson. The New York Times describes the music of the Pedrito Martinez Group as “complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New World funk” which even-still seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite having appeared on over 100 recordings in the last 15 years, his career as a bandleader is relatively fresh and his new self-titled album is sure to mark his broader entrance into the recording industry world.  Influenced by everything from Havana street jams to Santeria rituals, The Pedrito Martinez Group showcases a true band, with Trujillo also doing some heavy lifting in the vocal department.  This band does it all; from timba to Yoruban chants to straight-up Latin jazz and they always seem to have as much fun playing the music as the audience has listening and dancing to it.

The Pedrito Martinez Group

DATE: Thursday, December 5, 2013
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $28/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan
(831) 427-2227

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