The Pedrito Martinez Group
“The Pedrito Martinez Group is the real thing. They had the club JUMPING! It made me feel like a teenager!"
- Quincy Jones, May 28, 2013
“…a musician on the verge of international stardom.”
- Jose Manuel Simian, NY Daily News Sept 11, 2013
“If anyone can move Afro-Cuban music [to] greater visibility, it’s Martinez
-Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, May 14, 2012
Members of the group include Pedrito Martinez, from Havana, Cuba on percussion and vocals; keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, also from Havana; percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; and electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela.
Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. He began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines and Los Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998, by bandleader, Jane Bunnett, and decided to remain in North America to pursue his career. Two years later he took first place in the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition for Afro-Latin Hand Drumming.
Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has recorded and/or performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Bryan Lynch, Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, Bebo Valdés, Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John, James Taylor and Lady Gaga.)
Mr. Martínez was a founding member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena, with which he recorded two albums and toured the world. Pedrito has lent his talents as a percussion player and vocalist to over one hundred records. These include six records that have been Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch, called “Simpatico”, that was awarded a Grammy®.
Films Pedrito has appearanced in have included the documentary, Calle 54. And his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, Academy Award-nominated, Chico and Rita.
The Pedrito Martinez Group [“PMG”] came together in 2005 at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, called Guantanamera. Regular visitors to their gigs have included Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Steve Winwood and Taj Mahal, to name a few.
The group has appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 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, The Red Sea Festival, Festival Internationale, Playboy Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, The Barbican,
The Jazz Standard and Joe’s Pub NYC.
The Pedrito Martinez Group has self-released two live albums. And an album by Pedrito Martinez, called “Rumba de la Isla”, featuring the music of the flamenco great, Camarone de la Isla was released on Calle54/Sony in March of 2013.
Their first studio album, “The Pedrito Martinez Group”, was released, October 8, 2013, on Motema Music. The album was produced by Steve Gadd and Pedrito Martinez and features special guests, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Marc Quinones and Gary Schreiner.
Since 2011, Los Hacheros have been setting dance floors aflame with a gritty soulfulness that has been absent far too long from the modern Latin scene. Through their music, one hears echoes of legends such as Ray Barretto, Fania, and Arsenio Rodriguez, but with an immediacy that is unmistakably New York, now. Combining the raw emotion of Papote Jimenez's vocals, Eddie Venegas and Itai Kriss' powerful mambos, and Jacob Plasse's psychedelic tres guitar, Los Hacheros have created a revelatory sound that is both unique and timeless.
Los Hacheros' debut album, Pilon, out now on Chulo Records, was recorded live on a 388 Tascam tape machine with no computers or overdubs. The result? A perfect blend of polyrhythms and improvisational flights, earning the praise of die-hard salseros, while also introducing a younger generation to the music’s beauty and enduring vitality.