The Pedrito Martinez Group has emerged as the tightest Afro-Cuban band in New York. The ensemble has its roots planted firmly in the rumba tradition, and revels in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of Yoruban and Santerian music. Members of the Pedrito Martinez Group include
Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela; and keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, from Havana, Cuba. Born in Havana, Cuba, Pedro Pablo "Pedrito" Martinez began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist with such Cuba n legends as Tata Guines and Munequitos de Matanzas. He went to Canada in 1998 to tour with Jane Bunnett's Spirits of Havana. Martinez has collaborated with Sting, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D'Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He is featured on more than 100 albums, including Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch's Grammy Award winning Simpatico. Martínez was a founding member of the Afro-Beat ensemble, Yerba Buena.