The Pedrito Martinez Group to Perform Free Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 5/3

The Pedrito Martinez Group to Perform Free Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 5/3

The Pedrito Martinez Group featuring Ariacne Trujillo will take the stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre for FREE concert, Saturday, May 3, at sundown, presented by Society for the Performing Arts.

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.

The Pedrito Martinez Group has appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, The Newport Jazz Festival, globalFest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, TED Conference and TEDx, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Red Sea Festival, Montreux Jazz Fest, The Sydney Festival, Bonnaroo, Yoshi's/San Francisco, The Umbria Jazz Festivals, Saratoga Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival/San Francisco, Festival Internationale, Playboy Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, The Barbican, The Jazz Standard and Joe's Pub NYC.

Born in Havana, Ariacne Trujillo began her career as a child prodigy concert pianist. Blessed with perfect pitch, she was able to graduate with honors from Cuba's hyper-competitive ISA conservatory while working as a singer and dancer at the legendary Cabaret Tropicana. Since arriving in New York City in 2002, Ariacne has performed or recorded with Paul Simon, Paquito D'Rivera, Johnny Pacheco, Oscar de Leon, Luis Enrique, Isaac Delgado and Savion Glover. The range of expression in Ariacne's playing and singing encompasses classical, Afro Cuban, opera, ballet, blues, jazz R&B, soul and funk.

This is a FREE event for the community. For more information, visit www.spahouston.org or call 713-227-4772. Tickets for seats at Miller Outdoor Theatre are available on a first come, first serve basis and can be picked up at Miller Outdoor Theatre's ticket office (100 Concert Drive) on the day of the show from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 7-7:55 p.m. No tickets are needed for lawn seating.

About Society for the Performing Arts: Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world's finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.