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Pedrito Martinez, Santero

Jan 21, 2016

Pedrito Martinez is a world-class Afro-Cuban percussionist — a rumbero called upon by many jazz and pop stars when they need hand drumming, as well as a Grammy-nominated singing bandleader in his own right. He's also a Santería priest.

Those two aspects of Martinez's life are inextricably connected. In 2014, when we documented the new suite of music that Wynton Marsalis had written to feature Martinez and Cuban piano virtuoso Chucho Valdés, we spoke with Martinez about his practice of the Afro-Cuban religion, and followed him to a private ceremony in The Bronx. "What made me love the religion was the music," he told us.

Here, Jazz Night In America presents a short look at Pedrito Martinez, santero.

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