Wednesday, March 26, 2013

UNO Music Student Performs With Cuban Drum Legend Pedrito Martinez

University of New Orleans music student and upcoming percussionist Alexey Marti performed with Cuban drum legend Pedrito Martinez on Sunday at the Congo Square New Rhythms Festival in historic Congo Square in New Orleans' Armstrong Park.

Martinez, a native of Havana, Cuba is a world-class conga player, singer and bandleader in New York City whom music writer Ben Ratliff of The New York Times once described as an "incomparable performer."

He sat in with Marti's group at the second annual festival, sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the national nonprofit that puts on the city's famed annual Jazz and Heritage Festival.  Performers with Alexey on Sunday also included UNO alumni Matt Schilling on soprano saxophone and Austin Johnson on piano.

Known for the Afro-Cuban rhythms he brings to his music, Martinez began his rise to fame in the U.S. when he won first prize in the annual Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute Competition for his Afro-Latin Hand Drumming. A UNO jazz drummer, Jamison Ross, won the competition in September.