“Since arriving in the United States at the end of the 1990s, the Cuban percussionist [Pedrito] Martinez has been all over the place…when his drums, singing and writing are the focus he’s an incomparable performer.”
- Ben Ratliff, New York Times

“If anyone can move Afro-Cuban music [to] greater visibility, it’s Martinez”
Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker

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 Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998, by Jane Bunnett, 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, two years later, the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Latin Hand Drumming for the first time ever. Pedro entered and won first place.

Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Paquito D’Rivera; Brian Lynch; Steve Turre; Meshell Ndegeocello; Eddie Palmieri; Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill; Stefon Harris; Bebo Valdés; Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen), Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Pedrito was also featured in the documentary film on Cuban music, Calle 54 and his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, animated feature, Chico and Rita. PMG have been featured in The New Yorker magazine and in the Wall Street Journal.

bio continued below >

Pedrito's Vic Firth Implement of Choice:

A unique option for the player looking for slightly more than the standard sized timbale stick.
L = 16 1/2" | Dia. = .470"
  [enlarge photo]



bio, continued:

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, including albums by Paquito d’Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Edie Brickell and many others. 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®. PMG have appeared The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Umbria Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and the Red Sea Festival, Bonnaroo, and Newport Jazz Fest, among many others.

The group has self-released two live albums recorded at their home gig in NYC. An album by Pedrito, called “Rumba de la Isla”, featuring the music of the flamenco great, Camarone de la Isla was releases on Calle54/Sony in March of 2013. The group’s first studio album was recorded recently for release on Motema Records in October 2013. It was produced by Pedrito Martinez and Steve Gadd, and features Gadd, Wynton Marsalis, Gary Schreiner and John Scofield as special guests.