Home New York Report Alfredo Rodriguez Duo and Trio at the Jazz Standard

Alfredo Rodriguez Duo and Trio at the Jazz Standard

Alfredo Rodriguez Duo and Trio at the Jazz Standard

Thursday, February 9, Friday February 10, 2017


Alfredo Rodriguez - Pedrito MartinezThis special Jazz Standard double-header brings together two modern masters of Cuban music in all its varied and colorful forms. With the enthusiastic support of the great Quincy Jones, the prodigiously gifted pianist Alfredo Rodriguez made his debut as a leader in 2012 with Sounds of Space (Mack Avenue). On his 2016 Mack Avenue release Tocoro, Alfredo Rodriguez created “an aural landscape that redeems longing and sorrow with uplift, militant in its refusal to succumb to bitterness or despair.” (Jazz Times) Both discs were co–produced by Quincy Jones, who calls Alfredo Rodriguez “a complete 360–degrees musician.” Percussionist, vocalist and bandleader Pedrito Martinez has recorded and/or per-formed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D’Rivera, and Bruce Springsteen; he’s appeared in the films Calle 54 (2000) and Chico and Rita (2010), and thrilled club and concert audiences at the helm of the Pedrito Martinez Group. “In a musical world so filled with counterfeit output, it is refreshing to see a genuine talent like Pedrito emerge,” said Ruben Blades. “Always curious, forever searching, restless, he’s the type of artist whose product is forever fresh and vital.”

Alfredo Rodriguez – piano
Ricky Rodriguez – bass
Michael Olivera – drums

Alfredo Rodriguez returns to our stage with his working trio for two nights of creative music–making at its highest level. The pianist’s latest Mack Avenue release, Tocororo, reflects Rodríguez’s global vision: With his trio augmented by musicians and vocalists from India, Lebanon, Cameroon, Spain and France, the pianist performs dazzling originals, popular Cuban standards, and classical compositions by Argentinian master Astor Piazzolla and JS Bach. The music of Tocororo (the name of Cuba’s national bird) is “a translation of what I’ve gone through to share my music with people, to share who I am as a musician, and as a human being.”


Grammy® nominated artist, Alfredo Rodríguez, reflects the talents of legendary jazz pianists Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, and Art Tatum. Schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana, Rodríguez’s riveting artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as it is by his Cuban and jazz roots.

Discovered at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival by Quincy Jones, Cuban-born
Alfredo Rodríguez has distinguished himself as the definition of jazz and
improvisation without boundaries. He is the man behind the piano with fingers that
seem to travel from one end of the world to the other, just within the span of the
keys; his mastery of the art has earned him frequent appearances on prestigious
stages around the world such as the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl,
Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz in Marciac, Umbria Jazz and
Jazz A Vienne. Additionally, Rodríguez was nominated for a 2015 Grammy® in the
category of “Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella,” for the track
“Guantanamera,” from his 2014 release, The Invasion Parade.

During his first tour in China, Rodríguez was asked to work with Tan Dun, Siedah
Garrett and Quincy Jones to compose the English-version of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo theme song, granting him to become the first non-Chinese artist to be bestowed this honor. Though impressive, his accomplishments are not the only defining factors of his standout success; his ability to express himself culturally by “playing stories” on the keys
places him in a unique position to connect with his listeners on a more relatable and personal level. As demonstrated by the Invasion Parade, the follow-up album to his stunning debut on Mack Avenue, Sounds of Space, Rodríguez explores
his memories of Cuba, the people and culture he left behind and finds his new place.

Co-Produced by Quincy Jones and featuring a superb ensemble that includes bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and percussionist/vocalist Pedrito Martínez, the record is comprised of nine tracks including originals by Rodríguez as well as evergreens such as “Guantanamera,” Maria Teresa Vera’s “Veinte Años,” and “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás.”

Now, in Tocororo, his most recent album on Mack Avenue Records, Rodriguez’s story is represented by the national bird of Cuba. The Tocororo is a bird that if caged, dies of sadness, reflecting not only the desire for liberty, but the necessity of it. Beyond that is the story of everything else the bird represents: freedom, travel, and cross-pollination. In
Rodriguez’s case, it represents the cross pollination of his Cuban culture with all of the cultures he has experienced throughout his musical journey, thus leading him to assemble an international band, fusing the musical perspectives of Michael Olivera and Reinier Elizarde from Cuba, Ibrahim Maalouf from Lebanon, the French-Cuban duo Ibeyi,
Cameroonian vocalist and bassist Richard Bona, flamenco style singer Antonio Lizana, and Indian vocalist Ganavya.

Quincy Jones expresses, “Alfredo is without a doubt one of the best young pianists I’ve ever seen and with the enormous skills that he already possesses, his potential is limitless.” Rodriguez continues to spread his music along with his message and is currently on an international tour.


Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba, Sept 12, 1973. Having settled in New York City in the fall of 1998, by 2000, he had been awarded the Thelonius Monk Award for Afro-Latin Hand Percussion and was featured in the documentary film, Calle 54.

Pedrito has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Paquito D’Rivera, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting and has contributed, as a percussionist and vocalist, to over 50 albums. Mr. Martinez was also a founding member of the highly successful, Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band, Yerba Buena, with which he recorded two albums and toured the world.

Pedrito’s career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation in NYC of The Pedrito Martinez Group. The group’s Grammy-nominated first album was released October, 2013 and was chosen among NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2013 and The Boston Globe Critics Top Ten Albums of 2013.

Habana Dreams, PMG’s second album, was released in June 2016. Guests include, Ruben Blades, Isaac Delgado, Wynton Marsalis, Descemer Bueno, Roman Diaz, Angelique Kidjo, and Telmary Diaz. Accolades for Habana Dreams include #1 Latin Jazz Album in NPR’s Jazz Critics Top Jazz Albums for 2016 and being named among Boston Globe World Music Albums for 2016.

TICKETS: http://www.jazzstandard.com
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.alfredomusic.com

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


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