Willie Martinez has been a familiar face in New York City’s eclectic music scene for well over twenty years. As well as being one of the most sought after drummers on the Latin Jazz scene today, Willie is also a gifted arranger, composer and vocalist.
He has imparted his unique rhythmic and vocal styling upon groups performing everything from Gothic Funk at the quintessentially New York rock club CBGB’s to Afro Cuban jazz on the grand stage of the prestigious Carnegie Hall. He has performed and recorded with artists as varied as the classic Cuban arranger, composer, and bandleader Chico O’Farrill, to legendary jazz pianist George Cables, to contemporary Pop divas Jewel, Faith Hill, and Brandy.
His performances have been documented on television, video and CD, sharing the stage with a wide variety of artists representing a Who’s Who in the American music industry, including Latin legends Bebo Valdes, Ray Santos, Paquito D’Rivera, and Hilton Ruíz; jazz greats Frank Wess, Danny Mixon, Benny Powell, Calvin Hill, and Arthur Blythe; and pop veterans Leon Pendarvis, Barry Eastmond, Jerry Barnes, and Ira Siegel.
When not performing with his own highly acclaimed ensemble, La Familia Sextet,
Willie enjoys being involved in some of the hottest projects in town with
leaders like alto sax virtuoso T.K. Blue, multi-talented vibraphonist Jay
Hoggard, and pianist extraordinaire Nicki Denner.
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