Free Music in NYC: Pedrito Martinez at BAMcafé June 3

From a release:

Pedrito Martinez Group
Part of BAMcafé Live and ¡Sí Cuba! Festival
Fri, June 3, 2011 at 9pm
Bar opens at 6pm
- you'll want to get there early

A tight, four-piece band blessed with palpable chemistry and magnetism, The Pedrito Martinez Group play Latin jazz with remarkable clairvoyance. The group’s leader, Havana-born percussionist and singer Martinez, is a star in his own right, having performed on six Grammy nominated records and collaborated with everyone from Latin legends Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Eddie Palmieri to pop icons Sting and Bruce Springsteen. Martinez’s latest group is a streamlined take on the Cuban dance band, offering a transparent sound perfect for letting incisive vocals and percussion shine through.


Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, on Sept 12, 1973, Pedrito Pablo Martinez began his music career at the age of 11. He began performing as vocalist and percussionist on the Afro Cuban music scene, playing with legends Tata Guines, Lazaro Roos, Merceditas Valdes, Pancho Quinto, Gregorio (El Goyo) Hernandez, Yoruba Andabo and the great Cuban group Munequitos de Matanzas.

Martinez was brought to Canada in 1998 by saxophonist Jane Bunnett. He toured with her group, Spirits of Havana. The experience led Martinez to pursue his career in North America – a major turning point both personally and musically.

Since settling in New York City in 1998, Martinez has performed with dozens of top acts and has been featured on more than 100 recordings. Artists include: Paquito d’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Orlando Ríos “Puntilla”, Me’shell Ndege’Ocello, Eddie Palmieri, Bill Summers and Los Hombres Calientes, Sting, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, The Conga Kings (Candido Camero, Patato Valdés, Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Randy Brecker, and Giovanni Hidalgo) and Dave Murray, to name a few. These projects have garnered six Grammy® nominations and one Grammy® award for a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch called “Simpatico.”

The highly successful Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat fusion band,Yerba Buena, was an important project that featured Martínez in his element; singing, drumming, dancing, and collaborating on original band material. He recorded two albums with the group and toured the world opening for artists including the Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

On the screen, Martinez has been featured in Fernando Trueba’s reputed documentary Calle 54. He was also featured in the films Havana Nights and Pinero, and three TV series: OZ, Third Watch, Dame la Mano, and The Cuban Americans.

In 2005, Martinez became part of an ensemble that would eventually become The Pedrito Martinez Group. The group is now based at the popular Guantanamera restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

The group includes percussionist Jhair Sala, from Peru; bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Venezuela; keyboard player, Axel Tosca Laugart, from Havana and pianist/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, from Havana.

If you miss BAM Café, most weeks on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Nights, you'll probably find the Pedro Martinez group playing at:
Guantanamera Restaurant
939 8th Avenue (between 55th and 56th)
New York, NY  10019
8:30 p.m.
Click here to make a reservation at OpenTable, or call 212.262.5354 for reservations