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Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martínez was born in Havana, Cuba in the Cayo Hueso neighborhood, where rumba is played all day long. He began his musical career at eleven years old, with a foundation in the rumba and Afro-Cuban Yoruba traditions.
Since settling in New York City in 1998, Pedrito has recorded or performed with Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Bruce Springsteen, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Matthews, Elton John, and Sting. A master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the batá drum, he is the world’s first-call rumbero—playing, singing, and dancing with dozens of Cuban rumba groups. Martínez has appeared in several films including Calle 54 (2000) and Chico and Rita (2010).
“A source of rhythmic delight and inspiration…an incomparable performer…a traditional Afro-Cuban music superstar.”
– The New York Times
Martínez founded The Pedrito Martínez Group in 2005, and the group’s first album Rumba De La Isla (2013), was nominated for a Grammy and chosen among NPR’s “Favorite Albums of 2013” and The Boston Globe Critics’ “Top Ten Albums of 2013.”
The Pedrito Martínez Group’s most recent album Acertijos (2021) has been nominated for a Latin Grammy and includes a duet between Martínez and Eric Clapton, “My Father’s Eyes.”
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