At the zealous age of 16 years old, the expressive Cuban-born percussionist, composer, and bandleader, Alexey Marti, began formal percussion studies under the passionate guidance of Maestro Oscar Valdes, percussionist and singer for the famous Cuban group, Irakere. The mentorship blossomed into a deep-rooted professional relationship, allotting Marti a tenured-position as percussionist for Valdes’ renowned Afro-Cuban ensemble, Dia.kara.
In 2008, Marti took a tremendous leap of faith, moving to and residing in the musical and historical city of New Orleans, Louisiana to propel the advancement of his musical aspirations and trajectory. Marti’s multi-faceted expertise on percussion and piano garnered him the opportunity to join the University of New Orleans Jazz Program, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in percussion & piano. During this time, Marti founded one of NOLA’s in demand Latin-funk-fusion quintets, Alexey Marti and Urban Minds, garnering him the slot of opening act for the world famous Chucho Valdes in concert in 2012. On three occasions, Marti was nominated for the New Orleans Big Easy Music Award in both Latin and World music categories from 2014-2018, winning best performer in the category in 2018.
Marti’s audience-participatory performances and celebratory spirit has captured the hearts of music lovers in New Orleans and in turn has maintained Marti’s ensemble as a featured regular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival since 2009. Some of the notable artists for which Marti has recorded for and/or performed with include the following: The Headhunters, Platinum (2011), Delfeayo Marsallis (2016), Orlando Maraca Valle, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Jim Walker, Hubert Laws, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Bill Summers, Davell Crawford and Jason Marsallis, to name a few.
Most recently, Marti expanded his vocation, working as a percussionist for digital media and flms. His recent accolades include recording percussion for the new TV series, Roots (2016) and serving as flm composer for two documentaries: Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story and Codigo Color Memorias (Cuban documentary). Marti shares his music with the release of two compelling albums, Travesia, (2017) and Mundo (2019).
These recordings sonically capture the impetus of Marti’s musical compositions and arrangements – to provoke both music listeners and musicians to dare and dream of newfangled ways of cross-pollinating musical traditions, pay respect to the past, celebrate the present, and create a new sound for future generations to enjoy. The music crosses between the folkloric and current musical traditions of Cuba meshed with the spiritual bata drumming of West Africa, and seasoned with hints of United States dixieland, second line, blues, jazz and funk, creating a fresh approach within the genre of Latin Jazz.