Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Artists' Forum Artists' Forum Presents
Pedrito Martinez Group Featuring Ariacne Trujilloin in Concert on March 13

Kalamazoo Valley Community College Artists' Forum presents The Pedrito Martinez Group, featuring Ariacne Trujillo, in concert, at 7:30 pm on on March 13, 2014 at the Texas Township campus in Dale B. Lake Auditorium. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $15 each and will be on sale beginning on February 19. Tickets are available at Kalamazoo Valley Community College bookstores.

Pedro Pablo "Pedrito" Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. He began his musical career at the age of 11, performing as vocalist and percussionist playing with such Cuban legends as Tata Guines, Munequitos de Matanzas. He was brought to Canada in 1998, by Jane Bunnett, to tour with her group, Spirits of Havana. His decision to remain in North America to pursue his career proved to be an auspicious one when, two years later, the annual Thelonious Monk Institute Competition showcased Afro-Latin Hand Drumming for the first time ever. He entered and won first place.

Since settling in New York City in 2000, Martinez has performed, recorded, or toured with Paquito D'Rivera; Brian Lynch; Steve Turre; Me'shell Ndege'Ocello; Eddie Palmieri; Bill Summers and Los Hombres Calientes; Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill; Stefon Harris; Bebo Valdés; Cassandra Wilson; Joe Lovano, and Sting, for his rainforest benefit, with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. He was also featured in a 2000 documentary film on Cuban music called Calle 54.

"Since arriving in the United States at the end of the 1990s, the Cuban percussionist Pedro Martinez has been all over the place, putting rumba and guaguancó into the weave of all kinds of groups. But when his drums, singing and writing are the focus – as is the case in his new band– he's an incomparable performer," said Ben Ratliff of the New York Times in a June 25, 2010 review. The Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. Ben Ratliff summed it up aptly for the New York Times (June 15, 2010) calling it, "complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk."

With its formation in the current lineup in 2008, the group has developed into an extraordinarily tight and creative unit. With a home base gig in Midtown Manhattan 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.

Martínez was also a member of the highly successful Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena with which he recorded two albums and toured the world, opening for bands including the Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

Martinez has also lent his talents to over 100 records, including albums by Paquito d'Rivera, Issac Delgado, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Conrad Herwig , Edie Brickell and many others. These include six records that have been Grammy® nominated and one, a collaboration between Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch, called "Simpatico", that was awarded a Grammy®.

The group has released a live album recorded at their home gig in NYC. And plans are in the works for a studio album soon. Pedro plays and endorses Latin Percussion, Remo, Vic Firth, Sabian and Gibralter.

The March 13 concert is paid for in part by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation.

For tickets, contact Texas Township Campus bookstore at 269.488.4030 or the bookstore at Anna Whitten Hall at 269.373.7951. Tickets may also be ordered online by going to Kalamazoo Valley Bookstore.

For additional ticket purchasing options call Artists' Forum chairman and Dave Posther, 269.488.4476.

Since its inception in 1986, Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Artists' Forum Performance Series has exposed the Kalamazoo community and the students of Kalamazoo Valley to a widely diverse array of musicians, artists, writers, actors, singers, dancers and social commentators. The intent of the program has always been to provide stimulating cultural events that expand on the community's mainstream entertainment offerings.

Through funding provided by The Gilmore Foundation, The Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Artists' Forum has established a performance series that both reflects the Kalamazoo community and broadens the perspective of the performing arts. And this funding has been crucial in keeping the events affordable and accessible to the entire spectrum of the population.

Art should always inspire us, but its ultimate impact should be to nurture and guide us in our daily lives. And this ultimately is also the role of the Community College.

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Current Chair

Dave Posther, Chair of the Art Department and Lead Instructor in Photography and Film at Kalamazoo Valley, is the current chair of Artists' Forum and has been involved in the program since 1988.

Posther has been an instructor at KVCC since 1988. He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Western Michigan University. Prior to 1988, he was a full-time photographer for over fifteen years. During that time he exhibited and sold his work in galleries and shows throughout the United States, did commercial and portrait work, and taught at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Contact Posther at dposther@kvcc.edu to suggest a performer or to be added to a mailing list for information regarding upcoming performences.