Sabu Martinez  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Louis "Sabu" Martinez (July 14, 1930 – January 13, 1979) was an American conguero and percussionist. A prominent player in the Cubop movement in the 1950s, Martinez appeared on many important recordings and live performances during that period. Martinez also recorded several Latin jazz albums, now recognized as classics of the genre.

Born in New York City, Martinez made his professional debut in 1941 at age 11. He replaced Chano Pozo in Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra in 1948, and began performing with Benny Goodman's Bebop Orchestra in 1949. Over the next 15 years, Martinez worked with Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, J.J. Johnson, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Mary Lou Williams, Lionel Hampton, Noro Morales, Marcelino Guerra, Esy Morales, the Lecuona Cuban Boys, Miguelito Valdés, Tito Rodriguez, and the Joe Loco Trio. He also worked with vocalists Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., and Harry Belafonte.

Martinez first recorded with Art Blakey in 1953, and contributed to his Orgy in Rhythm and Holiday for Skins projects from 1957–58. Martinez became a bandleader in 1957, recording his debut album, Palo Congo, for Blue Note Records. He followed it up with releases on Vik and Alegre Records. Martinez moved to Sweden in 1967 and recorded with the Francy Boland-Kenny Clarke big band, releasing two albums. Subsequently he led the group Burnt Sugar, which was active into the mid '70s. On January 13, 1979, he died in Sweden at the age of 48 of a gastric ulcer.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sabu Martinez" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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