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Pedrito Martinez named 2017 JJA Jazz Award - Percussionist of the Year

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The winners of the 21st annual Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards have been announced. Professional Journalist Members of the JJA made open nominations in a first selection round; those who received the most nominations advanced to the final ballot.

Congratulations Pedrito Martinez on being named 2017 JJA Jazz Award - Percussionist of the Year. Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. Having settled in New York City in the fall of 1998, by 2000, he had been awarded the Thelonius Monk Award for Afro-Latin Hand Percussion and was featured in the documentary film, Calle 54. Pedrito has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Paquito D'Rivera, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting and has contributed, as a percussionist and vocalist, to over 50 albums. Mr. Martinez was also 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's career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation in NYC of The Pedrito Martinez Group. The group's Grammy-nominated first album was released October, 2013 and was chosen among NPR's Favorite Albums of 2013 and The Boston Globe Critics Top Ten Albums of 2013.