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Newport Jazz Festival

Pedrito Martinez Group Live From Newport

Vocalist and conguero Pedrito Martinez (center) performs with bassist Alvaro Benavides (right) at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Vocalist and conguero Pedrito Martinez (center) performs with bassist Alvaro Benavides (right) at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.

Pedrito Martinez Group, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2012

August 4, 2012Since he came over from Cuba, the phenomenally talented percussionist has found a place in scores of bands. But here, he's the star. Behind the congas and microphone, he leads a quartet which goes way beyond what you'd think of Afro-Cuban music or jazz.

Since he came over from Cuba around the turn of the century, the phenomenally talented percussionist Pedrito Martinez has become the conguero of choice for scores of bands. And most weeks in New York City, you can see him with his own, gigging several nights a week at a Cuban restaurant south of Central Park. The Pedrito Martinez Group places him at the congas and behind a microphone, where he exhibits a certain natural charisma. And though we haven't yet heard a studio album from the band, we already know that it goes way beyond what you'd think of Afro-Cuban music and/or jazz.

Set List
  • "Ay Amor" (David Calzado)
  • "Memorias" (Carlos Varela)
  • "Que Palo" (Juan Formell)
  • "La Luna" (Tirso Duarte)
Personnel
  • Pedrito Martinez, bata/congas/cajon/vocals
  • Jhair Sala, bongos/bell/vocals
  • Alvaro Benavides, electric bass
  • Araicne Trujillo, keyboards/vocals

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About The Festival

The Newport Jazz Festival, was founded by jazz pianist George Wein in 1954 as the first outdoor music festival of its kind devoted entirely to jazz, and is now universally acknowledged as the grandfather of all jazz festivals. For information on attending this year's Festival, visit their official website.

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