A young pianist of astonishing imagination, Cuban-born Alfredo Rodríguez performs with the open spirit of a culture rooted in dancing. He imparts a youthful, riveting artistry that fuses Latin music and jazz in surprising and beautiful ways, and his performances have evoked comparisons with Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans.
This double-bill performance also features percussionist and vocalist Pedrito Martinez. His hot Afro-Cuban band Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. The group’s popularity extends to the New York street scene, where they frequently perform at the restaurant Guantanamera. “Complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk.” (New York Times)
Program Book [PDF]
Alfredo Rodríguez website
Pedro Martinez website
Born in Havana, Cuba, jazz pianist Alfredo Rodríguez made his U.S. debut at the Hollywood Bowl, opening for Wayne Shorter. Rodríguez has also made appearances at events such as the SXSW Music Festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, as well as numerous performances at international festivals. Sounds of Space, his debut recording, is his collaboration with legendary record producer and composer Quincy Jones.
Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez began his musical career at the age of eleven, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998, by Jane Bunnett, to tour with her group, Spirits of Havana. When the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Latin Hand Drumming for the first time ever two years later, Martinez won first place. Since settling in New York City, Martinez has performed, recorded, and toured with Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Joe Lovano, and many others.
We welcome the Alfredo Rodríguez Trio and Pedrito Martinez Group for their UMS debut performances.