Songs of Our People, Songs of Our Neighbors: Pedrito Martinez

Thursday, Sep 2, 2021

Thursday, September 2 at 8 pm ET
Free with suggested $10 donation
See “Ways to Watch” below

“Pedrito is a genius… working with him has been a revelation to me.”
Wynton Marsalis

Celebrate and explore the music of the Grammy-nominated vocalist and Afro-Cuban percussion master, Pedrito Martinez, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most innovative Latin percussionists on the planet. In the ninth episode of Songs of Our People, Songs of Our Neighbors, Martinez will chat with NMAJH Public Programs Manager and musician, Dan Samuels, about his childhood in Cuba, the history of Afro-Cuban music, his musical collaborations with the Greats like Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, and Wynton Marsalis, and the intertwined nature of his life as both a master musician and Santero (Santeria Priest).

About Pedrito Martinez

Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973 and began his musical career at the age of 11. Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, and Sting, and has contributed to well over 100 albums. A master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the batá drum he has played and sung with dozens of Cuban rumba groups and contributed to several important films, including Calle 54 (2000) and Chico and Rita (2010). Pedrito was a founding member of the Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena, with which he recorded two albums and toured the world in the mid-to late-90’s. As leader, Pedrito has released two albums, the first one of which was nominated for a Grammy, in 2013. Habana Dreams, their second, was recorded in Cuba, and released in June 10, 2016 featuring, Ruben Blades, Isaac Delgado, Wynton Marsalis, and Angelique Kidjo. In February of 2019, Pedrito and Cuban pianist, Alfredo Rodriguez, a duo album with Quincy Jones as Executive Producer. In July 2019, Pedrito and Eric Clapton recorded a newly arranged version of Clapton’s song, My Father’s Eyes, and on September 22, Pedrito and Clapton performed together at Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas.

Above photo by Richard Termine

About the Songs of Our People Songs of Our Neighbors series:

Launched online in June 2020, this series explores music from varied Jewish traditions and diverse cultures, from the historic and traditional, to the contemporary and reimagined. Through conversations, live and prerecorded performances, and audience Q&A, this series uses music to better understand the complex, culturally diverse communities which make up the Jewish People, and our nation.

Ways to Watch

Facebook: Look for the LIVE post on the Museum’s Facebook page at 8pm ET. You do not need a Facebook account to view the program.

NMAJH website: A little before the program start time, the livestream will also be available at the top of this page. You will be prompted to enter your email address. Please note that you may need to refresh your screen and press “play” on the video—the static image will be replaced with the live feed before the program starts.

Zoom: Registration is required to receive the link–click here. The Museum’s Zoom can accommodate 1000 guests. Should we reach that number, please use one of the other methods listed above—they are all free and have unlimited capacity.

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