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The Pedrito Martinez Group to Perform Free Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 5/3
Cuban-born percussionist Pedrito Martinez and his New York-based Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition, as well as the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the sacred music known as Yoruba and Santeria. The daringly inventive Martinez has become ever-present on the New York music scene and he will bring the powerful punch of his Midtown Manhattan shows to Houston for one night only.
Since forming its current group in 2008, the band has developed into an extraordinarily tight and creative unit with a home base gig at Guantanamera in Hell's Kitchen - and has a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Ravi Coltrane, Taj Mahal, Eric Clapton, John Scofield, Roger Waters, Derek Trucks and Herlin Riley, among others.
In addition to Martinez the band includes percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela; and keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, from Havana, Cuba.
Born in Havana in 1973, Pedro Pablo "Pedrito" Martinez began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanzas. When he was 15, Toronto bandleader Jane Bunnett engaged him to tour North America with her group, Spirits of Havana; two years later, he won the first-ever Thelonious Monk Institute Afro-Latin Hand Drum Competition.
Since 2000, Martinez has played on more than 100 albums, including projects led by Paquito D'Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Conrad Herwig, as well as Brian Lynch and Eddie Palmieri's Grammy Award-winning CD Simpático. He was also a member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band,Yerba Buena with which he recorded two albums and toured the world opening for bands including the Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.
Produced by Steve Gadd and Pedrito Martinez, the group's first studio album, The Pedrito Martinez Group, was released October 8, 2013, on Motema Music and features special guests, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Marc Quinones and Gary Schreiner.