The Pedrito Martinez Group & Melaza

The Pedrito Martinez Group

“The Pedrito Martinez Group is the real thing. They had the club JUMPING! It made me feel like a teenager!"
- Quincy Jones, May 28, 2013

“…a musician on the verge of international stardom.”
- Jose Manuel Simian, NY Daily News Sept 11, 2013

“If anyone can move Afro-Cuban music [to] greater visibility, it’s Martinez
-Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, May 14, 2012

Members of the group include Pedrito Martinez, from Havana, Cuba on percussion and vocals; keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, also from Havana; percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; and electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela.
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, Bryan Lynch, Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, Bebo Valdés, Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Sting, (for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John, James Taylor and Lady Gaga.)

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. 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®.
Films Pedrito has appearanced in have included the documentary, Calle 54. And his singing and percussion playing were featured in the 2011, Academy Award-nominated, Chico and Rita.

The Pedrito Martinez Group [“PMG”] came together in 2005 at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, called Guantanamera. Regular visitors to their gigs have included Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Steve Winwood and Taj Mahal, to name a few.

The group has appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, The Newport Jazz Festival, globalFest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, TED Conference and TEDx, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Red Sea Festival, Montreux Jazz Fest, The Sydney Festival, Bonnaroo, Yoshi’s/San Francisco. The Umbria Jazz Festivals, Saratoga Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival/San Francisco, The Red Sea Festival, Festival Internationale, Playboy Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, The Barbican,
The Jazz Standard and Joe’s Pub NYC.
The Pedrito Martinez Group has self-released two live albums. And an album by Pedrito Martinez, called “Rumba de la Isla”, featuring the music of the flamenco great, Camarone de la Isla was released on Calle54/Sony in March of 2013.

Their first studio album, “The Pedrito Martinez Group”, was released, October 8, 2013, on Motema Music. The album was produced by Steve Gadd and Pedrito Martinez and features special guests, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Marc Quinones and Gary Schreiner.

Remember when each time you went to the club a new record would grab you with its complexity and beauty? When the harmonies and rhythms were so deep and infectious that one was powerless against the music’s demand to move, to dance?

Well, neither does Melaza.

Melaza is a group of musicians who can’t seem to let go of the challenge that Mongo and Barretto and Hector stamped onto wax. The majestic power of their forefathers' music taunts them. Yet the 14-member group slugs it out, fighting current cultural amnesia at salsa halls in the Bronx or quinceaneras in the Heights, attempting to recreate the effortless swing of the 1970s New York Latin big band while introducing audiences to a fresh, current sound.

Last winter, Melaza crammed into a studio in south Williamsburg to lay tracks down live. Using a mci 600 board and a reel to reel tape machine, they hey have captured an authentic, gritty sound, reminiscent of the beginnings of salsa dura in their self-titled album. They feel that even if a tiny bit of their joy in creating this music manages to wander through the listener's speakers, they've done their job.

Tickets Available at the Door

$10, tickets at the door, CASH only!

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Brooklyn Bowl

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The Pedrito Martinez Group & Melaza

Monday, January 6 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Brooklyn Bowl

Tickets Available at the Door