A young pianist of astonishing virtuosity and imagination, Cuban-born Alfredo Rodríguez performs with the open spirit of a culture rooted in dancing. Especially evident during his live performances, Rodríguez imparts a youthful, riveting artistry that fuses Latin music and jazz in surprising and beautiful ways. Quincy Jones discovered his unique talent at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006, and his performances have evoked comparisons of legendary jazz pianists like Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans. This double-bill performance also features percussionist and vocalist Pedrito Martinez, who incorporates the folklore of his Cuban roots with religious Yoruba chants and batá melodies into the traditional clave beat of popular Latin jazz. His popularity extends to the musical scene of New York streets, where his devotion to live performance establishes itself at the restaurant Guantanamera, where he plays three times a week.
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.