The Afro-Cuban Rhythm of Pedrito Martinez
One of Cuba’s top percussionists is making a stop this week in Hawai‘i.
Pedrito Martinez is a percussionist and bandleader who blends complex percussion arrangements, his distinctive tenor, and the Afro-Cuban music of Santería.
Born in Havana in 1973—he moved to Canada in 1998 to join 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 then he’s become one of the most requested percussionist in Latin music, collaborating on hundreds of projects. In 2013 he released “Rumba de la Isla”, featuring the music of the flamenco great, Camarone de la Isla.
Currently, he tours with the Pedrito Martinez Group who mix popular songs into the rhythm of Afro-Cuban folk. Their Grammy nominated self-titled debut was also released in 2013, and their second album- Havana Dreams, will be out later this year.
Martinez chatted with HPR’s Nick Yee.
The Pedrito Martinez Group performs through Sunday at the Blue Note Hawai‘i.