Maria Martinez pursues an active free-lance career performing and sharing both stage and studio with such artists as Rita Coolidge, Angela Bofill, Klymaxx, El Chicano, Emmanuel, Peach,Trini Lopez and the late Barry White, Nel Carter andJohnny Paycheck. Her televisionappearances include The Drew Carey Show, Dukes of Hazzard (movie of the week),Soul Train, The Late Show, Desde Hollywood (Univision) and others.
Modern Drummer magazine review of Maria's book appeared in the September/2000 issue.
Like Maria Martinez' Brazilian Coordination book/CD package, this new offering taps into her own Latin roots. Basic mambo, nanigo, songo, and mozambique rhythm are presented with scads of variations. Most are shown in both 2-3 and 3-2 son and rumba clave. Challenging chapters on improvisation, bongo-bell ostinatos, and left-foot clave round out this comprehensive study.
On the CD, Martinez demonstrates many of the book's basic patterns with a cooking Latin rhythm section and sax player. (No cheesy beat-box here, thank you!) Each demo is followed by a much longer rendition without drums for play-along. Full band backup helps you grasp the rhythms. Generous groove time helps you get immersed in the feel.
Afro-Cuban Coordination for Drumset includes a sizable list of recommended listening, but there is little theory or cultural background offered. Lucid, to-the-point chapter intros provide the practical information needed to get you playing. This is clearly a hands-on package meant to make Latin rhythms a usable part of you drumming vocabulary. An unstated bonus is the material's certain development of coordination for all types of music. Maria Martinez has served up another winner. (Hal Leonard)
"Maria has the gift of communicating her ideas clearly and in a way that everyone can understand. This is a rare and welcome faculty which makes learning fun. I really enjoyed this video, she played and explained it great."
"Maria opens up a vast vocabulary of drumset grooves and solo's, her playing demonstrates what the Afro-Cuban drumming concept is all about".
Ms. Martinez, an instructor at The Percussion Institute of Technology and a player with top-act credentials, has organized a no-fat, no-filler volume. It's a workbook designed for drummers to roll up their sleeves and quickly dig in. If you're looking for a more comprehensive overview of styles and historical/cultural background, you'll want to seek out other fine Brazilian books. But as a practical workout for essential Brazilian groove coordination, this book is plenty handy.
The author's method is a time-honored standard: Ostinatos for feet (and sometimes one hand) are featured in different styles. The student then plays the following pages of rhythmic figures above the ostinatos. Styles include baiao, bossa nova, and samba in two, three, and seven, and the "funky samba" feel of partido alto.
A demonstration and play-along CD featuring Martinez and band is also economic and clear. The package allows versatile usage for many skill levels, and, at the price, is definitely a bargain. (Hal Leonard)
PERCUSSIVE NOTES - The journal of the Percussive Arts Society - Vol. 37, No. 4 August 1999.
Maria Martinez has created a drumset reading/coordination workbook for the study of Brazilian drumming. The use of the word "coordination" in the title is a result of her approach, which is similar to that of Gary Chester's The New Breed books. The premise of the book is the use of three-part ostinatos (usually bass drum, ride cymbal, and hi-hat) set against the snare drum part, which plays a number of different two-bar "rhythm studies."
Martinez provides numerous ostinato patterns for three limbs (bossa nova, samba, baiao, partido alto, ? samba/bossa nova, 7/4-samba/bossa nova), which are to be played until the pattern feels comfortable. The drummer then superimposes a series of left-hand snare drum parts over the existing ostinatos. Each snare drum "rhythmic study" is a two-bar phrase. This method helps to develop an independent left hand. Every few pages, longer studies (called "summaries") combine previously mastered material. Using this method, the reader is able to create an ever-changing snare drum part set against the various ostinatos. This will assist the reader in achieving the ultimate goal-complete freedom of the left hand to improvise while maintaining traditional Brazilian grooves in the remaining limbs.
Some of the rhythmic studies are quite challenging-particularly the quarter-note triplets set against the ostinatos. One-handed buzz rolls are also included in the studies, providing an authentic touch. One excellent aspect of the book is the fact that each two-bar rhythm study notates the rhythm two ways: one way in the first bar followed by a variation in the second bar. This broadens the player's reading skills and demonstrates how the same rhythm might be written in different ways. An accompanying compact disc demonstrates the correct feel for many of the exercises and provides inspiring play-along tracks.
Martinez's approach to teaching independence is a tried-and -true method used by jazz drummers for many years. It only seems natural that it would be equally successful when applied to Brazilian drumming. This book will help any drummer gain independence, coordination, sharpen concentration, and broaden the knowledge of the rich drumming tradition of Brazil.
PERCUSSIVE NOTES - The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society - Vol. 40, No. 6 December 2002.
Cuban-born drummer Maria Martinez brings the Afro-Cuban drumset style to life in this instructional video. She dissects each rhythmic pattern, suggests the proper place to use each pattern in the form of a tune (e.g., during the solos or under the melody) and performs a tune with a live band that illustrates the concepts she just explained.
Martinez stresses that there are three pillars to learning Afro-Cuban music: coordination, feel and improvisation. She explains the necessary coordination, then demonstrates the proper feels and improvisation possibilities. Martinez starts with an explanation of son and rumba clave, bombo and ponche notes, the mambo, cascara, nanigo, songo and mozambique grooves, and several bongo bell patterns on the drumset. She also plays some quick examples of conga and timbale parts to demonstrate how conga and timbale patterns were adapted to the drumset in modern Afro-Cuban music. All of the examples on the video may be found in the accompanying booklet Martinez offers some tips about how to hear the direction of the clave before closing the video with another tune.
Merely learning some Afro-Cuban rhythmic patterns is insufficient when trying to learn this style of music. Breaking down each rhythm, explaining its origins, and then performing each pattern in a musical context is really the way to learn this material. Martinez's relaxed style, clear explanations, and great playing make this a "must have" video for the intermediate player or novice Afro-Cuban drummer. (This video is an excellent accompaniment to Martinez's book Afro-Cuban Coordination for Drumset, which contains numerous exercises and concepts related to this video.)
PERCUSSIVE NOTES - The journal of the Percussive Arts Society - Vol. 40, No. 6 December 2002.
Drummer Maria Martinez has put together an excellent video resource for those interested in developing drumset grooves in the Brazilian styles. Covered are the most common time feels including bossa nova, samba, baiao and the partido alto. The samba receives the most thorough treatment, with discussion and demonstration of several samba fells, including odd meter sambas.
Martinez's relaxed, clear teaching style along with her obvious depth as a player makes this a very engaging and informative video. The different time feels are explained in a step-by-step fashion, followed by a full band demonstration with Martinez at the drums to put each beat in its context. An accompanying booklet presents all patterns in written form. This video takes much of the mystery out of the basic Brazilian rhythms and will be especially useful for the novice as an introduction to the style.
MODERN DRUMMER - April 2003
Like the tiny phrase books stuffed into globe trekkers' pockets, Grooves won't teach you to converse fluently, but it does offer a handy reference for quick understanding. This slim, bargain-priced volume compiles 99 one - or two-bar snippets defining various styles. Martinez' CD clearly demonstrates the feels, accompanied by bass. While some will debate over what constitutes the classic "basic" grooves of certain styles, everything here is, never- theless, practical and vastly useable. The Latin sections are especially clarifying. You can acquire the correct accents later, but for now, go ahead and make coherent groove statements with this smart book.