Pedrito Martinez Group performs at the Diana Wortham Theatre April 11

Press release

From the Diana Wortham Theatre


World-renowned Cuban conga player Pedrito Martinez and his Peruvian, Venezuelan and Cuban bandmates comprise a one-of-a-kind Afro-Cuban ensemble, The Pedrito Martinez Group, with an incomparably charismatic sound, Friday April 11, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. They are groove-busters with a sound all their own that The New York Times describes as “Complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk.”

The 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, but also blends in R&B, blues, flamenco and jazz with innovative, joyful charisma. With a home base gig at Guantanamera, a popular Cuban restaurant in New York City, the group has built a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Taj Mahal, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Dereck Trucks and Wynton Marsalis.

Havana-born Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez has performed, recorded and toured with artists including Sting, Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis, and lent his talents to over 100 records including one Grammy-Award-winning album and six Grammy-nominated albums. He was also a founding member of the highly successful Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band Yerba Buena with which he recorded two albums and toured the globe opening for acts including Ray Charles and Dave Matthews Band.

In addition to Pedrito Martinez on vocals and congas, the group includes percussionist Jhair Sala from Lima, Peru; electric bassist Alvaro Benavides from Caracas, Venezuela; and sought-after vocalist and keyboard player Araicne Trujillo from Havana, Cuba.

After releasing two live albums recorded at its home gig at Guantanamera, the band released its debut studio album on the Motema Music label. The self-titled album features guests including Steve Gadd, Wynton Marsalis and John Scofield. The group has appeared at numerous festivals across the country and the world including The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Bonnaroo, and Newport Jazz Fest.

The Pedrito Martinez Group’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz; and by Mainstage Music Series Sponsors Henry LaBrun and Arby’s; with additional support from Media Sponsors 880AM The Revolution, News Radio 570 WWNC and The Laurel of Asheville.

The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway next to Marble Slab Creamery, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2013/2014 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit HYPERLINK “”

About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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