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Pedrito Martinez: Bio

"Since arriving in the United States at the end of the 1990s, the Cuban percussionist Pedro Martínez has been all over the place, putting rumba and guaguancó into the weave of all kinds of groups. But when his drums, singing and writing are the focus…he's an incomparable performer." That's The New York Times' Ben Ratliff describing Pedro Pablo "Pedrito" Martínez, just one of the many critical accolades the emerging percussionist/vocalist has received as of late. 

Born in Havana on September 12, 1973, Martínez' musical career began at the age of 11, performing as a vocalist and a percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines, Munequitos de Matanzas. In 1998, Jane Bunnett brought him to Canada to tour with her group, Spirits of Havana. His decision to remain in North America to pursue his career proved to be an auspicious one when he won the 2000 Thelonious Monk Institute Competition, the organization's first competition focused on Afro-Latin Hand Drumming. 

Based in New York City since 2000, Martínez has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Paquito D'Rivera, Brian Lynch, Steve Turre, Me'shell Ndege'Ocello, Eddie Palmieri, Bill Summers and Los Hombres Calientes, Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, Stefon Harris, Bebo Valdés, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen), among others. In 2000, Martínez also took part in the critically acclaimed documentary film Calle 54, directed by Fernando Trueba.

Martínez 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. Martínez has lent his talents to over one hundred records, including albums by Paquito d'Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Conrad Herwig, Edie Brickell and many others. Six of these records were Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch, titled Simpatico, was awarded a Grammy®. 

Hailed by Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker as possessing "the charisma of a mainstream star," Martínez celebrates the convergence of both the Cuban and Flamenco rumbas on, Rumba de la Isla, his debut on Calle 54 Records (available on March 12, 2013, in partnership with Sony Masterworks). Featuring songs once interpreted by Camarón de la Isla, the legendary flamenco icon, Rumba de la Isla is produced by Fernando Trueba and Nat Chediak. Martínez manages to integrate, in his own personal way, classic songs by Camarón in a unique tribute to the greatest flamenco artist of all times. 

1 Que a mi me vio de nacer
2 Yo vivo enamorao
3 Dos estrellas relucientes
4 Solo vivo pa quererte
5 Volando voy
6 Quiero quitarme esa pena
7 No naqueres na de mi
8 Gitana te quiero
9 Homenaje a Camaron
Pedrito Martinez - solo de congas
Pedrito Martinez Group - La Luna

Sony Masterworks in partnership with Calle 54 Records releases: Cuban musician, Pedrito Martínez's new album Rumba de la Isla. Featuringsongs once interpreted by Camarón de la Isla, the legendary flamenco icon, Rumba de la Isla is produced by Fernando Trueba and Nat Chediak. The albumcelebrates the convergence of both the Cuban and Flamenco rumbas. The great rumbero Pedrito Martínez manages to integrate, in his own personal way, classic songs by Camarón de la Isla in a unique tribute to the greatest flamenco artist of all times.

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Crossover Media Projects with: Pedrito Martinez