Frankie Martinez is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most revolutionary salsa performer/choreographers of our time. Many struggle to find comparisons, invoking such names as Ailey and Tharp when describing the impact of his vision.
Born and raised in the projects of NY, Frankie dedicated himself to the study of Shotokan Karate, becoming a 4th degree black belt and winning many competition awards before joining the U.S. Navy in 1996. While on military leave, Frankie visited a Florida salsa club, and the modern age of Latin dance was born. Returning to New York, Frankie joined “The Dance Club” at Metropolitan Avenue, a ballroom dance school, where he was quickly hired as a dance instructor and soon after managed the Salsa/Mambo Department.
With less than one year of dance experience, Frankie was invited to join the Eddie Torres’ Dancers. Later that same year Frankie performed “Concierto del Amor” at Madison Square Garden. Over the next three years Frankie went on to perform for such luminaries as Tito Puente, Jose Alberto, Fania All Stars and many others, from the Los Angeles Palladium to New York’s Roseland and countless venues in between.
In 2000, Frankie Martinez gained further renown by winning Nutriments’ Latin Dance Competition. He also launched his first international tour with performances in Milan, Brecia, and Bologna, Italy. In 2000 Frankie Martinez’s Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company was born, and in tours of Europe and Japan Frankie quickly established Abakua among the top Latin dance companies in the world. Ever since, devotees have crossed the globe for the opportunity to see Frankie perform and, for a rare few, take private instruction; the dance company Encuentro Latino, received a grant from the Arts Council Of England “to train with the most sought after Mambo/Salsa Instructor/ Performer in the world, Mr. Frankie Martinez.”
2005 saw the debut performance of “Raices” and closed with a preview of “After Hours Funk” his new work slated for Off-Broadway production in 2006 In the meantime, Frankie Martinez will continue to perform and instruct with the passion and dedication that has placed him in the company of Latin dance’s legends. (Learn more about Frankie Martinez & Abakua)