Martin Maretti Andersen
Danish drummer/percussionist Martin Maretti Andersen is truly a musical dynamo, at home in many different styles and settings. With his powerful and
expressive playing, he’s added luster to performances by a broad range of Scandanavian and international ensembles.
Martin Maretti Andersen grew up in the Danish town of Silkeborg. Among his earliest pleasures were listening at home to his mother’s Louis Armstrong albums, Miriam Makeba ?s Something New From Africa and numerous classical recordings. Watching and hearing an organ duo that played for local high school dances spurred his interest in drums. At nine, he began taking private drum instruction, along with lessons in piano, flute and guitar at school.
Soon, Martin was playing in school bands for musicals and stage plays. At twelve, he was also participating in sessions with local blues bands and traditional jazz groups. Eventually, he joined a big band and a Silkeborg brass band, all the while receiving more formal training in classical percussion technique. Meanwhile, he spent much of his free time at the municipal library, eagerly listening to recordings by everyone from Deep Purple to Count Basie and Max Roach.
Before finishing secondary school, Martin spent one life-changing year as an exchangestudent, residing with a family in Veracruz, México. There, he was was exposed to the South Mexican lifestyle, along with a wide variety of musics: Mexican folklore, cumbia, salsa and jazz. He jammed with local bands and attended the conservatory in Xalapa, where he studied classical percusion with Jesus Reyes López, a percusionist in Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. He also played with that orchestra on several occasions.
Back home again in Denmark, Martin continued to perform with many local bands and orchestras while studying piano and music theory. During this period, he also began private lessons with noted Danish jazz drummer Alex Riel. After moving to Århus, Martin quickly became involved in the local scene around the jazz club called Bent J and played with such area groups as the Klüvers Big band. Thanks to his fluency in Spanish, he formed a friendship with Spanish alto saxophonist Santiago Ibarreche and joined him on performance tours of Spain. During this same period, Martin also enjoyed playing with famed bassist Javier Colina and pianist Iñaki Salvador.
Martin participated in several Danish Jazz Foundation seminars and was deeply inspired by participating teachers like drummers Adam Nussbaum and Tony Moreno. After attending a workshop with drummer Billy Hart, he became convinced that he would benefit from an extended period study in New York. During his one-year stay there, he studied at the Drummers Collective School with Marvin ”Smitty” Smith, Brad Flikinger, Mike Clark, Frank Malabe, as well as privately with Nussbaum and Moreno. Meanwhile, he spent many evenings night listening to other drumming greats. His New York souourn further convinced Martin that he should persue a fulltime career in music.
Soon after returning home from New York, Martin accepted the opportunity to fill the drum chair in the pit band for ”Les Misérables” when that production opened in Denmark. Soon thereafter, he was contracted to tour for six months in the orchestra for a touring company of West Side Story.” Next, accepted a bid to play for the show ”Chicago.” At this juncture, he moved to Copenhagen, where he further broadened his network of friends and began to build a sterling professional reputation.
In 1993, Butch Lacy (formerly Sarah Vaughan’s pianist and bandleader) hired Martin for his group and began recomending him for freelance work with the Radio Concert Orchestra. Meanwhile, Martin was being booked for numerous radio and TV jobs. With Butch Lacy’s trios, quartets and quintets (with bassists Jesper Lundgaard or Lennart Ginman often involved), Martin acompanied saxophonist Bob Rockwell, trumpeter player Anders Bergcrantz and singer Mark Murphy, along with many other high-profile musicians.
Martin co-hosted jazz sessions at Copenhagen jazz clubs like 10 eren (with pianist Carsten Dahl); La Fontaine (with tenor saxophonist Claus Waidtløw); and Restaurant Kellerdirch (with bassist Anders Christensen). Soon, he was performing and recording with many other ensembles. Among them were The Orchestra, Thomas Agergaards ?s Ok-Nok-Kongo (which often featured tenorist John Tchicai), the quartet co-led by Horace Parlan and Søren Eriksen Quartet and other groups involving guitarists Søren Lee and Swedish Krister Johnson. During the same period, he began private studies with Cuban percusionist Calixto Oviedo. He also started to experiment with batá drumming, timbales and other Afro-Cuban percussion instruments. His strong interest in pan-Latin music led to a lot of jamming with Cuban musicians. Among them was folklore percusionst Ignacio Guerra Acosta. At a workshop at the Copenhagen conservatory Martin met a longtime hero, Irakére drummer Enrique Plá, with whom he began to study ocasionally. He later co- hosted Latin-jazz jam sessions at the salsa club called Sabor Latino with Cuban bassist/composer Yadam González.
During the mid-90s, Martin’s profile rose still higher as he began to co-lead such groups as the Science Fiction Quartet,, Trio 1-2-3 (with tenor saxophonist Lars Møller and guitarist Thor Madsen) and the Latin jazz quartet know as Punto De Vista, featuring bassist Yadam González and flamenco pianist Chano Dominguez. In 2000, Martin joined the renowned New Jungle Orchestra led by Pierre Dørge, with which he has toured and recorded extensively ever since. Work with the award-winning ten-member NJO, which boasts an immense repertoire and wide stylistic approach, requires everything from open improvisation and avant garde free-form playing to backbeat 6/8, Afro-Cuban and straightahead Ellingtonian big band arrangements.
New Jungle Orchestra collaborates frequently with other ensembles (for example, the thirty-piece gamelan ensemble Semarah Ratih from Bali) and guest soloists. Among the artists Martin has backed in this context are Yusef Lateef, Ray Anderson, Harry Beckett, Herb Robertson, John Tchicai, Marilyn Mazur, Han Bennink, Josefine Cronholm, Adam Rudolph, Shashank Subramanyam, Yu Jun, Sergey Letof, Lelo Nika, Mikko Innannem, Harry Beckett, the Lin Trio, Thomas Sandberg, Aida Nadeem, Athelas Sinfonietta and the Denmarks Radio Girls Choir.
Martin currenty leads his own trio, Different Day, whose other members are Spanish guitartist Israel Sandoval and Swedish bassist Thommy Andersson. Their first self-titled CD issued in 2007, includes compositions by all three members. Martin also co-leads the band MadCats with Thommy Andersson and American saxophonist Marc Bernstein They have toured and recorded with pianist David Kikosky and singer Marie Bergman. Other recent projects include the Latin-jazz combo known as Kirsten & Carsten (with pianist Carsten Kjær) and the trio billed as Third Voyage with bassist Torben Westergaard and saxophonist Thomas Agergaard.
In addition to those already cited above, Martin has also played with or toured with Dean Johnson, Bill Dobbins, Leroy Jones, Hayes Greenfield, Pablo Ziegler, Caroline Henderson, Jesper Nordenstrøm, Paolo Russo, Lew Soloff, Bobby Martinez, Raúl Rekow, Lars Jansson, Hugo Rasmussen, Josefine Cronholm, Gitte Hænning, Eva Dahlgren, Sinne Eeg, Staffan Svensson, Nikolaj Bentzon, Lelo Nika, Jens Winther, Bob Ricketts, Jan Kaspersen, Bent Jædig, Carsten Dahl, Mads Vinding, Svenn Skipper, Lars H.U.G., Stig Rossen, Ben Besiakow, Finn Ziegler, Cristoffer Møller, Torben Westergaard ?s Oktober, Tomas Franck, Jacob Chistoffersen, Rune Harder Olesen, Per Gade, Morten Grønvad, Jon Bruland, Troels Skovgaard, Christina Von Bülow, Niels Stuart, Fredrik Lundin, Trine-Lise Væring, T.S.Høeg, Jakob Dinesen, Niclas Knudsen, Peter Fuglsang, Kasper Tranberg, Henrik Gunde, Santiago Ibarreche Primital and quintet, 3000 Hombres, Antonio Serrano, Borja Barrueta, Perico Sambeat, Martirio, Alfonso Pérez, Daniel Yacaré, Pablo Martin Caminero, Mariano Diaz, Tango Orkestret, the Tivoli Big Band and the Malmø Monday Night Big Band.