News5Live: “Pedrito Martinez finds new home at NYC’s Subrosa”

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Pedrito Martinez finds new home at NYC’s Subrosa

By Julia Xanthos 
February 13, 2015
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Pedrito Martinez, a musician with his drums at his home in Union City, New Jersy on May 23, 2011.

Pedrito Martinez has picked up the beat and taken it to a  new home.

After a decade of leading the Pedrito Martinez Group during their stint as the house band at Midtown Cuban eatery Guantanamera, the Latin percussion master is now the main attraction at Subrosa.

The new club, located in Manhattan’s trendy and bustling Meatpacking District, is owned and operated by the Blue Note Entertainment Group, the company behind such city fixtures as jazz mecca the Blue Note in Greenwich Village and B.B. King’s near Times Square.

For Martinez, who performs at least three nights a week at Subrosa, the opportunity to be the house band in a hot, new Manhattan venue is every working musician’s dream.

“Not only do more people recognize you and get to know who you are, but you get the chance to make your music even better,” Martinez says.

“Playing regularly makes the band very tight when you have a steady gig like this and you’re performing the same repertoire with the same group.

“It’s much better to have a steady place to work than having to wait until you go on tour or do festivals.”

Martinez, 41, was already a fixture on the Afro-Cuban music scene long before he set up shop in Guantanamera.

The Havana native was a founding member of Yerba Buena, and since moving to New York in 1998, he has performed and recorded with the likes of Paquito D’Rivera, Steve Turre, Eddie Palmieri, Arturo (Chico) O’Farrill and Bebo Valdes.

Scoring a well-known, steady headliner like Martinez goes a long way towards establishing a new club in a crowded market like New York, says Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment Group.

“We wanted to create a place that would become a Latin listening room, a place where every night of the week we present the best in Latin music, not just Latin jazz, but all genres in the Latin community,” says Bensusan of the intimate, 140-seat Subrosa, which has been quietly open for several weeks before it officially debuts  in February.

“Our target market is everyone who wants to hear great music.”

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