The Pedrito Martinez Group is planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. The group has built a fan base that includes Steve Gadd, Ravi Coltrane, Taj Mahal, Eric Clapton, John Scofield, Roger Waters, Derek Trucks, Herlin Riley, and Will Lee.
Members include percussionist, Jhair Sala, from Lima, Peru; electric bassist, Alvaro Benavides, from Caracas, Venezuela; and keyboard player/vocalist, Araicne Trujillo, from Havana, Cuba.
Born in Havana, Pedrito performed as a vocalist/percussionist and was brought to Canada in 1998, by Jane Bunnett, to tour with Spirits of Havana. Two years later, the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Latin Hand Drumming for the first time. Pedro won first place. He was a member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena with which he toured, opening for the Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. Pedrito has lent his talents to over one hundred records - Paquito d’Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, Edie Brickell and others. Six records have been Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration with Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch,“Simpatico”, was awarded a Grammy®.
“I’ve always kept my eye out for him. Then I heard he was playing gigs in NYC… We’ve been back [to see The Pedrito Martinez Group] a bunch of times since… we took the whole band along. Our drummers were floored as Pedrito and his band played intense traditional Cuban rhythms with a progressive edge… It’s a beautiful thing to witness…” - Derek Trucks
A native from Santiago, Chile now residing in New York, singer and guitarist Camila Meza blends jazz with the broad musical world including Latin American, Brazilian, folk and pop influences. Equally skilled as a vocalist and guitarist, she finds her expression through instrumental improvisations - a touching, subtle and intense way of singing, with a timbre that is all her own. Recognized by her peers and veterans of music, for her talent and artistry, Camila has made a name for herself in the demanding New York Jazz scene having performed at renowned jazz clubs - The Jazz Standard, Village Vanguard and Blue Note, Smalls Jazz club and others. She has also performed in festivals all over the world including Saratoga Jazz Festival, Swidnica Jazz Festival in Poland, Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Colima Jazz festival and JAZZUV Festival in Mexico.