The Pedrito Martinez Group

The Pedrito Martinez Group

"Going to see the Pedrito Martinez Group brought me back to my early teens running around with Dizzy Gillespie performing Cubana-Be/Cubana-Bop and Manteca among others. In the mid-1940s, we were completely addicted to Cuban Music!

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

“[Perito] is, almost impossibly, both a cosmopolitan entertainer and an authentic folklorist.” NPR Music First Listen Sept 29, 2013
“… his musicality is just staggering,”
-Derek Trucks quoted in Larry Rohter’s feature in The NY Times Oct 8, 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
“…an incomparable performer.”
- Ben Ratliff, New York Times

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.

Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has been awarded first place in the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition for Afro-Latin Hand Drumming and has recorded (lending his percussion playing and vocal talents to over 100 records) 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.

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 was featured in the film 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 Pedrito Martinez Group [PMG] has appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, The Newport Jazz Festival, globalFest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, TED Conference, 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.
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.

PMG’s 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.

Born in Havana, Ariacne Trujillo began her career as a child prodigy concert pianist. Blessed with perfect pitch, she was able to graduate with honors from Cuba’s hyper-competitive ISA conservatory while working as a singer and dancer at the legendary Cabaret Tropicana. Since arriving in New York City in 2002, Ariacne has performed or recorded with Paul Simon ("Song of the Capeman" Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2008), Paquito D’Rivera, Johnny Pacheco, Oscar de Leon, Luis Enrique, Isaac Delgado, and Savion Glover.

Such impressive bona fides aside, the most important qualities Trujillo brings to the mix are her ability to improvise both form and content, and her truly relentless sense of time. It’s standard Cuban practice to break down to piano, clave and kick drum, but PMG repeatedly breaks down to piano – just piano – and you have to experience it in concert to believe the unstoppable groove that Trujillo lays down – often while singing lead in her powerful and endlessly flexible voice.

The range of expression in Ariacne’s playing and singing encompasses classical, Afro Cuban, opera, ballet, blues, jazz R&B, soul, and funk.
In 2005, Ariacne joined The Pedrito Martinez Group. Ari and Pedrito have since developed an astoundingly close musical connection.
A scholarship from Berklee College of Music brought bassist Álvaro Benavides to the United States from his native Venezuela. Like Trujillo, he’s a brilliant soloist with unshakeable timing that allows him to shoulder the entire groove when the rest of the musicians drop out, or to power the band to a devastating bomba climax with wicked thumps, slaps and slides that congeal and combust with Pedrito’s cajón to produce as powerful and uplifting a rhythmic surge as the largest and most aggressive Cuban bands.

Born in Perú and raised in New York, Jhair Sala spent his formative years studying intensively with Pedrito Martínez having met Pedrito when he was ten years old. He’s now in high demand as a session musician and bandleader in his own right, but there’s an uncanny magic when he plays with Pedrito. Jhair’s touch, timing, and feel, are truly remarkable and with literally thousands of hours of studying, performing and jamming together, the two drummers play as one.

Bios written by Kevin Moore
Kevin Moore is the author of the Beyond Salsa series, and editor of

Changüí Majadero

Changüí del Guaso is a production group based out of Los Angeles, California. The company brings you authentic Changüí from Guantanamo with products including YouTube videos, audio recordings, pictures and more. Featured artists include renowned group Changüí de Guantanamo (Cuba), Celso Fernandez Rojos-El Guajiro y su Changüí, as well as up and coming Changüí Majadero (United States), a group based out of Los Angeles California.

Changüi is a rhythm and a musical genre coming from the so musical Oriente of Cuba.
Changüi is Celebration, Party, Country Feast, an encounter where music and dances are celebrating happiness and friendship.
The guantanamera province is the birthplace of this genuine festive expression of country music.
It is possible to indicate very precisely its birthplace in the areas of Yateras, El Salvador, Manuel Tames and in the very famous guantanamero district of the Loma Del Chivo.
Some improvised groups were gathering spontaneously in these places to play the primitive forms of Changüi with rudimental instrumentation.
During the genesis of this musical form, that according to musicologist sources goes back to 1860, were combined Hispanic-European, African and also afro-French elements, maybe the most fertile ones, due to the Haitian presence in that region.

The original core of instruments used to play Changüi was composed of the Tres, the Guayo and the Bongo De Monte, different from the traditional Bongo.
Over the years other instruments were added such as the Botjia, the Marimbula and the Maracas but the Tres and Bongo continued being the main protagonists.
This is the constant dialogue between the Tres and the Bongo that makes the originality and the rhythmic-harmonic wealth of this musical form that turns out to be much more syncopated than the Son.
In other words Changüi is a precursor of the Son with which it combined itself to become nowadays considered as one variant in the generic complex of the Son.
The first expressions of Changüi were nothing more than a ditty song reiterative that, like some other ancestors of the Son such as the Nengon, the Regina, the Kiriba, present itself like a Montuno built on the elementary Tumbao of the Tres and its dialogue with the Bongo.
The singing of the lead singer who begins expressing himself using quatrains or decimas, is then followed by the traditional scheme of call and response, between the soloist and the coro.

In the history two different ways to play Changuì can be identified: the traditional Changuì (played by Conjunto bands) and the orchestral Changuì (played by Charanga ensemble). Among musicians and groups that represent the traditional style, one can highlight “Changuì de Guantanamo”, group founded on 1945 with legendary figures like Pedro Speck, Cambron, Arthur and Chito Latamblèt and “Estrellas Campesinas of Yateras”, founded on 1952 in Yateras and directed by Eduardo Goulet (Pipi).
The other changuisera variant is represented by the work of the brilliant guantanamero Elio Revé who was able to innovate deeply this musical gene, dressing it with new colors.
The traditional Changüi under the direction of Revé, even if it have been maintaining its typical characteristics, does no longer sound the same due to the change of orchestral format. Revé brought numerous innovations to the Changüi in its execution, in the instruments used, opening Changüi to other national and foreign rhythms and more recent expressions of the Son (Salsa and Timba).

Revé was also the great ambassador of the Changüi that made it well-know worldwide.
Although Orquesta Revé represents Changüi’s most outstanding protagonist, today like yesterday, many musicians remain Changui’s best admirers and perpetuate its tradition in the Cuban musical panorama.
Even the great Benny Moré recorded in 1958 the track " Maracaibo oriental" that is perhaps the most famous Changüi song of history.
Also the Salsa movement explored the Changuì in several occasions leaving behind recordings of famous figures like Ray Barreto and Celia Cross.
In Cuba Los Van Van, Issac Delgado, Sierra Maestra, Felix Baloy, Pancho Amat, and last but not least, Oderquis Revé, the brother of Elio Revé and ex- member of the Charangon, have developed and continue cultivating the Changüi.

$15.00 - $17.00


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