TVD Recommends: Alexey Marti Quintet at Snug Harbor tonight, 3/28

Snug Harbor is the place to be tonight as the Cuban percussionist brings his killer band to Frenchmen Street. Sets are at 8 and 10 PM. His special guests will include percussionist Bill Summers and keyboardist/vocalist Davell Crawford.

Alexey Marti first burst on the scene with a percussive blur, jamming with numerous Latin jazz and straight up Latin musicians about three years ago. He has been leading his own working band for a while now, and I have had the chance to see them a few times in recent months.

Marti is mostly a conga player, but he is versed in nearly every percussion instrument including the box-like cajon. His band also features a killer trap drummer, Julian Addison. The rest of the lineup features a true cream of the crop of up-and-coming local players. Matthew Shilling is on saxophone, Pat Casey is on bass, and Austin Johnson is on piano.

Johnson was pulling double duty this past weekend when he played with Jason Marsalis at an in-store at Peaches record store, and then appeared with Marti’s quintet at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival a few hours later.


The biggest gig to date for Marti’s band was opening for Chucho Valdes at the Joy Theater. The group was very poised, even in the face of the daunting task of playing before one of the true giants of Cuban music.

Since then, they have gelled even more, and look to be having great fun with the music. Look out Snug, you better move the tables—this is dance music!

See you there!

Bottom photo: Nickel Orleans

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