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Pedrito Martinez Adds Cuban Flavor To RIAF

Listening to the Rumba beats performed by Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez reminds me of my childhood. Black and white photos, vivid memories told to me by my mother or cooking my grandfather’s favorite recipes are just some of the connections I have to my family’s former home in Camagüey, Cuba.  Through all of these experiences, and many more, I have come to discover that the Cuban people take great pride in their cultural heritage, music in particular being a staple in any Cuban household. 

It is this music that draws me to Cuba, and I am not the only one. Music enthusiasts from around the world have come to enjoy the rhythmic beats and distinctive characteristics of Cuban music - just ask Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé, whose rather recent trip to the beautiful Caribbean Island caused a bit of a stir, but don’t be surprised if you hear the Cuban fusion of percussion, Jazz, and Salsa on their next albums. It is easy to understand the allure after listening to Pedrito Martinez’s music. Its pulsating rhythms make me want to move, yet at other times his emotional melodies reminds me of listening to my grandmother sing Spanish lullabies.

Traditional Cuban music has its roots in African heritage. These musical customs can be specifically seen in the Rumba, one of the most popular forms of Afro-Cuban music. The word rumba actually comes from a term which literally means to go to parties, dance, and have a good time.

For the Ringling International Arts Festival (2014) we wanted to bring that party right here to Sarasota. This October Pedrito Martinez will allow you to experience the excitement of the Rumba. The Pedrito Martinez Group will be performing for four days, beginning on Opening Night, Wednesday October 15th, allowing audience members to discover the bata rhythms and sensual beats of the Afro-Cuban sound. 

The Ringling International Arts Festival is devoted to highlighting talented artists from all over the world. It celebrates art and culture, and allows the audience to travel the globe from the comfort of their theater seat. If you haven’t purchased your tickets to experience The Pedrito Martinez Group what better way to explore the rhythms of this tropical Island than with Pedrito as your musical guide?

I challenge you to stay in your seats during this performance! Reserve your tickets now.   

Learn more about the author of this blog post here.

Author: Sonja Kida
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