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Pedrito Martinez Group receives 2015 GRAMMY Nomination for Motema debut

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On Friday the 57th Annual Grammy Awards revealed it's winners. and Crossover Media Artists and Projects received 12, 2015 Nominations: including the 'Pedrito Martinez Group' debut for Motema in the Best Latin Jazz Album category.

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, Bebo Valdés, Bruce Springsteen, Michele Rosewoman, Cassandra Wilson; Brian Lynch, Arturo O'Farrill, Joe Lovano, Issac Delgado, Edie Brickell, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John, James Taylor, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.)

His band on this album is also full of seemingly impossible resumes. Pianist Ariacne Trujillo also takes turns at lead vocal; she took a highly contested scholarship to a top Cuban conservatory while moonlighting as a singer and dancer at a major nightclub. (You'll see evidence if you catch a live show.) Bassist Álvaro Benavides is a Venezuelan-born, Berklee-trained virtuoso. And the band's fourth member, percussionist Jhair Sala, came to the U.S. from Peru and sought out Martinez for lessons; the two have worked together closely for years. In fact, as the Pedrito Martinez Group, all four play three sets a night, three days a week at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan. How many world-class bands do that anymore?