Percussionist Alexey Marti brings the full set of Latin flavors to his unique style of Afro-Cuban jazz. He was born in Havana in 1985, and began his musical journey by playing congas as part of his family’s Santeria religious services. He also studied with the legendary vocalist and percussionist Oscar Valdez, a member of the Afro-Cuban fusion supergroup Irakere and a pioneer in the use of traditional bata drums in contemporary Cuban jazz. In Havana, Marti shedded as much as 12 hours a day, developing a style that incorporates both his deep spiritual sense and his breadth of musical knowledge. "The virtuoso becomes," he told WWOZ’s Jorge Fuentes in a recent interview. “To eat fish you have to get wet."
Alexey Marti arrived in New Orleans in 2008, and began studying jazz composition with Victor “Red” Atkins III and Ed Petersen at the University of New Orleans. There he met several of the musicians with whom he performs and records, including pianist Oscar Rossignoli and saxophonist Brent Rose. He has become a staple on the local club scene and a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other prominent events.
His 2017 debut album, “Travesia” was met with critical acclaim. He began traveling around the world, composing and recording in Spain, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, New York, and Miami. The results can be heard on his 2018 CD “Mundo,” a work that incorporates bossa nova, salsa, samba, and ballads with contemporary and traditional rhythms.
In addition to Rossignoli and Rose, Marti also can be heard performing with Pat Casey, Gabriel Velazco, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Timothy Morris and others.