Pedro "Pedrito" Martinez
Cuba, United States
Despite his relatively tender age, Cuban-born Pedrito Martinez, has earned his place in the history of his instrument and contemporary Afro-Cuban performance. Some say his chops and unique charisma place him above the rest. Indeed, when Pedrito and his group (PMG) start a set at their steady gig in Manhattan, he immediately puts out a pipeline. People respond, dance, and the heat grows with the rapport. Adding to the mystique, celebrities drop by to take the temperature. To date, the list includes Steve Gadd, Eric Clapton, John Scofield, Roger Waters, and Steve Winwood. They tweak to the way Pedrito comes on like Esperanza Spalding, totally conversant on his instrument and free to deliver infectious lead vocals over a locked-down yet floating groove. As if sucking up steam from the NYC street grids, sometimes it seems that Pedrito is speaking a new rap over a montuno. Mainstream media is noticing, witness features in The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal.

Success first came to Pedrito with his band Yerba Buena. His discography has topped the 100-mark and includes such stellar names as Paquito d’Rivera, Steve Turre, Eliane Elias, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Edie Brickell, and Eddie Palmieri. To boot, Pedrito Martinez has appeared with Sting and Elton John at the rainforest concert.
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