The Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition and in the batá rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. Ben Ratliff summed it up aptly for the New York Times calling it, “complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk.”
With pure polyrhythmic precision, The Pedrito Martinez Group is a joyful adventure of fresh Afro-Cuban spirit, seamlessly blending the styles of timba, gospel, guaguanco, blues, jazz, and classical music. Martinez's complex rumba and batá drumming joined with keyboardist Edgar Pantoja-Aleman's range and groove, bassist Alvaro Benavides' confidence, and percussionist Jhair Sala's connection round out this groups's effortless dynamic. And when Martinez channels the beautiful Yoruba chants – still used by Cubans to address African gods – the group’s virtuosity is complete.
“The Pedrito Martinez Group is writing a new chapter in Cuban music history...” - NPR All Things Considered
“Pedrito and the band are virtuosi of the first order.” – John Scofield
Dominican University Performing Arts Center is partially
supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.