Alexey (A-lec-sáy) was raised in the Marianao neighborhood of Havana, Cuba where he became a jazz musician in the lineage of great Cuban jazzistas like Oscar Valdés, Bobby Carcassés, Chucho Valdés, Enrique Plá, Ernan Lopez-Nussa, and countless others. He started playing tumbadoras (congas) at the age of 7, inspired by the Afro-Cuban ceremonies celebrated in his grandparents’ home. In addition to Afro-Cuban traditions, Alexey was immersed in all forms of Cuban popular and traditional music as a child. He soaked up the sounds of the Cuban jazz supergroup Irakere and listened to all kinds of American jazz, funk and R&B. As a teenager he began performing with the renowned Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Diákara, under the tutelage of the legendary Oscar Valdés, a founding member of Irakere.
In 2008 Alexey moved to New Orleans, furthering his formal music studies in percussion and piano at UNO and in jazz clubs across town. In 2011, Alexey founded his Latin-jazz-funk-fusion quartet Urban Minds. In 2022 he reorganized the concept of Urban Minds into his current band AfroGumbo. He has performed with New Orleans greats like Delfeayo Marsalis, Bill Summers, Davell Crawford, David Torkanowsky, Herlin Riley, Dr. Michael White, Wendell Brunious, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Jason Marsalis, just to name a few. He has also performed with Cuban masters visiting New Orleans including Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Ernan Lopéz-Nussa, Melvis Santa, Vanito Brown, Renesito Avich, Julito Padrón, Osmany Paredes and others. A career highlight for Alexey was opening for Chucho Valdés in November 2012 at the newly reopened Joy Theater. He has also recorded for the television series Roots (2016) and composed scores for the documentary films: A Leah Chase Story and Color Code (Código Color). Alexey Martí’s debut album, Travesía, released in 2017, is about his musical and life voyage from his native Havana, Cuba to his current home in New Orleans, Louisiana. His sophomore album, Mundo, released in 2019, is an homage to all of the styles of music from around the world that have influenced his sound. His new single I Know What You Want came out in October 2023. It’s the title cut for his new album which will drop in early 2024.
This concert is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. in partnership with New Orleans & Company as part of the official Holidays New Orleans Style campaign. It takes place at the AshéPowerhouse Theater in the Ashé Cultural Arts Center. FQFI’s holiday concerts are free and open to the public, generally running for one hour.
This state of the art performing arts center and visual art gallery opened in 2015 as a facility of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center and involved the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the 1924 New Orleans Public...