Silvestre Martinez was born in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico. He grew up in a large family of musicians, who played chilena, merequetengue and charanga music, which is Afro-Mexican music from the coast.
When Silvestre was very young, he would often attend concerts with his father, who played congas in the band, Los Angeles del Puerto. Silvestre would sit backstage and absorb the rhythms of the coast, and by age 10, he began performing and recording with his Uncle's band. At age 15, Silvestre moved to Oaxaca City to study percussion. One of his first teachers, Master percussionist Charlie Chavez exposed Silvestre to the world of Latin Jazz. There he discovered the recordings and was inspired by musicians such as Giovanni Hildalgo, Poncho Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barreto, and many others. He developed a reputation in Oaxaca for being an excellent percussionist, and worked with different salsa bands.
In 1999, Silvestre was invited to live and perform in Bali, Indonesia, where he played salsa, Latin jazz and world music. Silvestre continued to travel and perform in various countries in Europe and Asia. Once Silvestre returned to Mexico, he traveled to Cuba to deepen his understanding of the roots of Afro-Cuban music.
Silvestre's ultimate dream was to play percussion in the United States, and his dream became realized with he moved to the Bay Area in 2002 and began performing with legendary Latin jazz musicians such as Louie Romero (percussionist, Fania All Stars and Mazacote), Paquito D' Rivera, Oscar Stagnaro, Karl Perazzo (percussionist, Santana), Orestes Vilato (Fania All Stars)(Cachao)(John Santos), Coto Pincheira (Modern Sound Project) and Jorge Santana (Malo), as well as many other bands who played various types of music from Latin America.
About the CD, Heritage:
Silvestre Martinez debuts his new Latin jazz project with his album, Heritage. The rhythms of the coast of Oaxaca, combined with Afro-Cuban rhythms and Silvestre's unique, modern Latin jazz sound makes Heritage a truly an exciting new sound.
Heritage features seasoned Latin Jazz musicians including Grammy nominated pianist Hector Martignon and three time Grammy Award winner, drummer Antonio Sanchez. Silvestre also teamed up with Bay Area Latin Jazz musicians, including Sam Bevan (bass), Sheldon Brown (saxophone), Erik Jekabson (trumpet), Eric Crystal (saxophone), Coto Pincheira (piano), Alan Hall (drum) and Colin Douglas (drums).