Pedrito Martinez Group Heats up Moorhead

DANIELLE MOIR | PHOTO COURTESY The Pedrito Martinez Group, a Cuban jazz quartet, is leaving its nest of New York City to explore the country on tour.
DANIELLE MOIR | PHOTO COURTESY
The Pedrito Martinez Group, a Cuban jazz quartet, is leaving its nest of New York City to explore the country on tour.

Flavors from around the world are always a theme for Minnesota State University Moorhead’s performing arts series, and this final show of the season may just be the spiciest.

Slated for Thursday night, New York City’s Pedrito Martinez Group brings the sounds of Cuban jazz to MSUM’s Cheryl Nelson Lossett Performing Arts Series. A sellout group in NYC, the quartet’s booming popularity has led them to explore the country for other venues.

“They just want to reach as many people as possible,” Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald, managing director of the series, said. “They’re still kind of a young, new group, and New York knows them really well, but the rest of the country, not as well.”

Starring lead singer and percussionist Pedro “Pedrito” Martinez bolstered by a bassist, drummer and pianist/trumpeter, the group’s music is hot and fast, bringing audiences to their feet in performances called “just staggering” by the New York Times.

“It’s very lively music,” Sundet-Schoenwald said. “It’s very, very upbeat and energetic, happy.”

Staged in the 850-seat Hansen Theatre, the Pedrito Martinez Group is a larger show that has called for MSUM to rent specialty drums and equipment from Los Angeles for the performance.

MSUM percussion professor Kenyon Williams brought the group to Sundet-Schoenwald’s attention after seeing them in New York. Having “(blown) the roof off the place,” Williams highly recommended Martinez’s quartet for an arts series that promotes artistic and cultural diversity in its performances.

For its genre, the Pedrito Martinez Group is a class act, and Sundet-Schoenwald agrees.

“If you like Latin music, this is probably as good as it’s gonna get,” she said. “These guys are top-notch, fantastic players.”

With the midpoint of winter behind Fargo-Moorhead, the chance to hear some sweet and spicy tunes laid down by a band who does it best is an opportunity that’s hard to pass up. Winter’s been cold, but the Pedrito Martinez Group is hot.

“This music will take you away to a place much nicer, warmer and happier,” Sundet-Schoenwald said. “It’ll just lift everybody’s spirit.”

 

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: MSUM’s Hansen Theatre
PRICE: $12 for students
MORE INFO: 218-477-2271

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