Pedrito Martinez

Posted on 
February 10, 2022
9:16 pm

Born in Havana Cuba in the early seventies, Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez is currently a New York-based vocalist, composer, bandleader, and percussionist. Pedrito started his music career at eleven years old showcasing his talents with legends like Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanza.

The Grammy-nominated artist is known for his eclectic fusion of jazz, funk, and Cuban music. His authentic Cuban Rumba sound comes from the Rumba heartland in Matanzas, Cuba, but is often called “Timba,” a contemporary genre of Cuban dance music.

Pedrito moved to New York City when he was 25 and quickly settled into the music scene. He spent the late 90s and early 2000s collaborating with icons Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Elton John, Jackson Browne, and more.

During this time, Pedrito was also a member of Yerba Buena, a successful Afro-Cuban band that toured the world opening for superstars like Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and the Dave Matthews Band.

By 2005, he was ready to emerge as a bandleader with The Pedrito Martinez Group. The band honored their roots in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition with complex bata rhythms and melodic vocal chants. Their debut self-titled studio album was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Album” and made The Boston Globe Critics Top Ten Albums of 2013 list. Their second album “Habana Dreams” was released shortly after, which included Wynton Marsalis, Isaac Delgado, Ruben Blades, and Angelique Kidjo.

Pedrito has a long list of contributions, including several film credits awarding a few Academy Award-nominations. His current collaborations include the 2019 album “Duologue” with Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, and in 2021 a new rendition of the classic song, “My Father’s Eyes” with Eric Clapton. They also performed this song at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, a series of festivals that benefit the Crossroads Centre, a drug treatment center in Antigua founded by Clapton.

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