Pedrito Martinez Group Hitting Subrosa Next Two Tuesdays
Pedrito Martinez Group Hitting Subrosa Next Two Tuesdays: 10-18 & 10-25-16
Pedrito Martinez is undeniably a demon on percussion and his interest in the music and culture of countries around the world, along with his spiritual approach to his own, helps elevate his hot quartet. He’s an intuitive bandleader and compelling artist on album as well as on stage.
Pianist, trumpeter, arranger and composer Edgar Pantoja-Aleman grew up about as far away from Martinez as possible while still being in the same country as Martinez is from Havana and Pantoja-Aleman is from Santiago de Cuba. Since settling in New York in 2008, about a decade after Martinez, there has been no distance between the countrymen as their interplay is a defining characteristic of the band.
Atop his years studying his native Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Martinez has embraced South American traditions introduced by band members. Alvaro Benavides, who won a scholarship to the Berklee School of music as a young man in Venezuela, uplifts the quartet with virtuosic bass playing. Martinez pointed out the wonderful folklore of Peru also has a bearing on the music. He met Jhair Sala when the latter was only eight years old when they were introduced by a family member. Martinez took the young Peruvian born New Yorker under his wing and now they share a chemistry and kinship brought by thousands of hours of playing together.
Guantanamera is restaurant a couple of blocks south of Columbus Circe where Martinez earned his reputation in the city. That’s where artists like Roger Waters, Steve Winwood, and Eric Clapton joined him on stage. As word spread, he was recruited by Sting and his Rainforest Foundation which led to playing with other heavy hitters like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, James Taylor, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.
Subrosa in the Meatpacking District, that specializes in Latin and World music, is his new home. Habana Dreams is his new album. Recorded largely in Havana last year, it includes guest spots from Ruben Blades, Wynton Marsalis and Angelique Kidjo.