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[CANCELLED] Pedrito Martinez @ Yerba Buena Gardens Festival // SF

Update! Due to forecasted morning rain, our season kick-off with Pedrito Martinez Group is CANCELLED.

The forecast shows clearing skies and breaks of sun in the afternoon! Come prepared for San Francisco weather. Waterproof blankets for lawn seating encouraged.

Help us spread the word on the new start time. We can’t wait to celebrate the beginning of an outstanding festival season with you all. Rain can’t stop us from getting in the groove!

🔥 Get ready to kick-off the 24th season of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival with an unforgettable afternoon of Cuban soul featuring Pedrito Martinez! 🔥

A master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the sacred batá drum, Martinez has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest artists across genres, from jazz legends to pop icons. With over 100 albums to his credit, Martinez continues to captivate audiences worldwide with his electrifying performances.

And guess what? It’s all FREE! Bring your friends, family, and dancing shoes, and let’s kick-off the season with some 🔥fuego🔥!

Saturday, May 4, 3pm
Yerba Buena Gardens
760 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


Pedrito Martinez arrived in New York City from Havana in 1998!

Just as the Buena Vista Social Club was reintroducing the world to the glories of mid-20th century Cuban music, reviving the careers of masters who came of age before the revolution.

It wasn’t long before he came to embody the future of Cuban music in the 21st century. A master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the sacred batá drum, he’s also the world’s first-call rumbero with more than 100 albums to his credit. Sought out by the world’s greatest artists in jazz, Cuban music and far beyond, he’s collaborated with everyone from fellow Latin music visionaries Chucho Valdés, Paquito D’Rivera and Eddie Palmieri to pop stars Paul Simon, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Elton John, and James Taylor. Martinez returns to the Gardens leading the latest version of his blazing band, which he introduced on his eponymous, Grammy-nominated album in 2013. The group has served as a launching pad for several brilliant young Cuban musicians, like his current pianist/keyboardist Ahmed Alom, a virtuosic powerhouse quickly gaining international renown.

Video 1:

  • Pedrito MartĂ­nez uses LP Percussion, A. Zildjian Cymbals, DW Drums, Vic Firth Sticks, Remo drumheads, Earthworks mics and Zoom Recorders.

Opening the program is La Dame Blanche!

She’s an explosive Paris-based Cuban combo led by singer, flautist and percussionist Yaite Ramos Rodriguez (daughter of trombonist Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos, the artistic director of the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club).

Steeped in the Afro-Cuban rituals and folklore, La Dame Blanche has honed a singular blend of hip-hop, cumbia, dancehall and reggae, all filtered through the sacred practices of SanterĂ­a.

Video 2:

Biography of Pedrito:

Pedrito Martinez…is a source of rhythmic delight and inspiration… an incomparable performer… a traditional Afro-Cuban music superstar – The New York Times

Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martínez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973 in the Cayo Hueso neighborhood, where rumba is played all day long, and began his musical career at the age of 11, with a foundation in the rumba and Afro Cuban Yoruba traditions.

Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Pedrito has recorded or performed with, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Bruce Springsteen, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Matthews, and Sting, and has contributed to over 75 albums.

A consummate master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music and the batá drum he is also the world’s first-call rumbero—playing, singing, and dancing with dozens of Cuban rumba groups.

Pedrito was a founding member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena, with which he recorded two albums and toured the world in the mid-to late-90’s.

Mr. Martínez’s career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation in NYC of the The Pedrito Martínez Group.

He has recorded four solo albums, the first one of which was nominated for a Grammy in 2013 and was chosen among NPR’s Favorite Albums for 2013 and The Boston Globe Critics Top Ten Albums of the same year.

In February of 2019, Pedrito and Cuban pianist, Alfredo Rodriguez, released a duo album called Duologue to critical acclaim. Quincy Jones was executive producer.

In July 2019 Pedrito and Eric Clapton recorded a newly arranged version of Clapton’s song, “My Father’s Eyes,” for a Pedrito Martínez album, called Acertijos (Riddles), which was released in early 2021. The two performed the song together on Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in Dallas Texas.

Pedrito was involved through 2020 in streamed projects including, Play On for CBS TV with Jon Batiste, and the NEA Awards at SF Jazz. And he was named, for the seventh time in none years, Jazz Percussionist of the Year, by the Jazz Journalists Association.

In 2021, Pedrito recorded two singles and has performed, with Cuban superstar, Camila Cabello. He was awarded Percussionist of The Year by JazzTimes Magazine Critics Poll. A 2021 album called Acertijos (Riddles), featuring primarily original compositions, and special guests, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Eric Clapton, and Issac Delgado, was nominated for a Latin Grammy, for Best Contemporary Tropical Album of 2021.

Highlights for 2022 have so far been the release of a new single called “El Jicamo Me Hablo,” being part of International Jazz Day 2022, again being named Jazz Percussionist of The Year, by Jazz Journalists Association, a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall (Zankel), and getting back to touring with his quintet!

A consummate master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music!

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Presents Pedrito Martinez; La Dame Blanche.

Saturday, May 4, 1:00pm-3:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens
760 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

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