Pedro Martinez to Open MCLA Presents! 2012-2013 Season


 NORTH ADAMS, MA - MCLA Presents!, a performance series of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), will kick off its 2012-13 season on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. in the MCLA Quad with Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez and his Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band.

"MCLA Presents! brings artists and performers from around the world to North Adams, connecting MCLA to it surrounding community via some amazingly talented musicians, actors, dancers, poets, and all those that fall in-between," said Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA. "It's great to go to an event  like this in the quad, or in the gym during the winter, like our annual Blues and Funk Festival, and see hundreds of people dancing and having a great time - students, MCLA staff and faculty and MCLA's neighbors. Think of it as a great big 'mixer' for North Adams!"

Deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition, "The Pedrito Martinez Group" will bring a new mix of music to the campus with bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. A native of Havana, Cuba, Martinez is a conga player, singer and bandleader who tours with artists such as the Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

According to Secor, the College wanted to bring Martinez to MCLA to welcome students back to campus while, at the same time, celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with members of the greater community.

"It's great music, and Pedrito and his musicians are great performers," Secor said. "Pedrito will get you on your feet, but he also will get you listening to some really complex beats and melodies.  Bringing him to campus is an opportunity to share with our community some truly talented Latin performers, playing the recognizable, as well as the new."

According to J.C. Hunter of, "This music was utterly joyful and completely addictive, and it left all of us howling for more." Ben Ratliff of the New York Times added, "...drums, singing and writing are the focus...Complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World Funk- [Pedrito is] an incomparable performer."

Tickets to "The Pedrito Martinez Group" are $10 for general admission. Tickets for MCLA alumni are $8, $5 for staff and faculty, and members and students are free.

Tickets may be reserved by calling MCLA Presents! at (413) 662-5204. For more information, (413) 664-8718, or go to presents .

MCLA Presents! is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), a collaborative project with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the City of North Adams. The BCRC provides professional development training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County. Through its multiple programs and presentations, BCRC brings the best of performance and art to the Berkshires and showcases the best of the Berkshires to the world.