EFRAIN MARTINEZ, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, began his musical journey at age 13 when he began formal training on the drumset. His rapid development on the instrument allowed him to begin his professional career as a session drummer for many latin gospel and sacred music albums, most notably with singer Rena Gonzalez.
He continued his musical training under former Sammy Davis Jr. band and Mongo Santamaraa drummer Tony Sanchez. It was during this period that his interest and development in jazz took him to New York City for a year and half to work with artists like John Benitez group, Ron Affif Trio and percussionist Papo Pepan among many others.
Upon his return to Puerto Rico he continued his studio work and live performances with many latin pop artists including a year-long international tour with latin diva Olga Tanon. His sought-after skills and musicality led him to many important collaborations with high caliber musicians such as Steve Khan, Eddie Gomez and Jerry Gonzalez, placing him among the most respected drummers in Puerto Rico. Recent collaborations include Viento de Agua, Hip Hop artist Tego Calderon, Vico C, lounge/electronica artist MIMA, recordings with new jazz artists like saxophonist Luis Rodraguez (Fresh Sound records), Holograma Quartet (M.A. Productions/Pollymood Records), Ricardo Pons Causa Comaºn project, Holograma quintet, and presentations in venues like the San Juan Heineken Jazz Fest, Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, Barranquilla Jazz Fest, Curacao Jazz Fest, Faot Music Fest in Mexico, National Public Radio Philadelphia (NPR), Manhattans Joes Pub and Brooklyn Theatre et al. He also has done clinics and concerts in South America with the United States Embassy Music Education Program.
¢ Percussion Day at Interamerican University in San German, Puerto Rico (2015) ¢ XIX International Percussion Festival at Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico (2014) ¢ XVI International Percussion Festival at Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico (2010) ¢Republican Dominic Jazz Fest (2009) ¢ United State Jazz Ambasdor education ¢Program, Peraº (2008) ¢ The Jazz House, Peraº (2008) ¢ Tambaº Drum Shop (2007)
PUBLICATIONS: Author of his first book: RAaZ (2018)