Review: Tino Martinez Quartette In Texas

March 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Dale Butler]

The night was a night to remember at the iconic Elephant Room that opened in 1991 in Austin, Texas after excavators discovered “the largest archaeological discovery of mastodon bones west of the Mississippi.” The Bermuda contingent sat comfortably as we watched a long line of patrons eager to enter and hear one of the seven bands listed for 40 minute sets at a total cost of $10 as part of the SXSW Conference and Festivals.

The Tino Martinez Quartette was given a mere 10 minutes to set up their equipment on stage, do a sound check and kick off precisely on the hour. After hearing Allan Harris from New York, Tino and company quickly set the stage. When the audience heard the quartette were from Bermuda you could almost see the puzzlement on their faces wondering if it was going to be a reggae or calypso treat; after all, many Americans still think we are in the Caribbean.

The noisy room soon felt the spell of their opening tactic and went quiet as they warmed up with a very hushed tone of “What You Do For Love.” Dressed in black, Tino Martinez, Troy Washington, Raymond George, and Torrey Tacklyn looked very professional and immediately took command of the atmosphere by flourishing the audience with original songs:

  • City Lights
  • Front Street
  • Jazz Groupiez
  • Broken Pieces
  • Bermuda Summers
  • Dinos Samba

The crowd responded with great applause as they completed each piece. A few too many people walked to the front with their cameras eagerly taking photos and long videos. We were happy to see that happen and just sat back and watched the band go from one song to the other with confidence and a look of satisfaction that a dream had come to fruition after they paid their dues at a variety of Bermudian venues and after weeks of practice.

Seated in the audience was Tino’s father, Terence, and brothers Jordan and Jorge, who were so delighted to see and hear him give a commanding performance and hear each member shine with their solos.

The band demonstrated its versatility by giving us spicy, lively, and memorable songs that added to the Goslings Gingerbeer and Goslings rum that we saw flowing into patron cups all night. The only thing missing with the world premiere of their songs was the Gombeys.

With everyone lured into their musical net and only five minutes left, the sheriff was heard to say before he departed – “I love this version” – as the band closed the deal highlighting a giant in the music industry, Bob Marley: “I Shot the Sheriff.” It was done. They had reached the pinnacle, or as we say in Bermuda: “dem byes were great.”

A bright light had awakened all elements in the Elephant Room: The Tino Martinez Quartette legacy was now cemented in America. Oh, Bermuda, we are so lucky to have them.

The performance of the Tino Martinez Quartette has sealed their future locally and, based on comments heard after the event, I have no doubt that they will be invited to additional international events, so get ready to support them financially and with your attendance. Once again, from academics to sport and music, Bermuda is on the worldwide stage receiving applause. AYO! AYO! Tino Martinez Quartette, we are proud of you.


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- Dale Butler is the Professor of Bermuda Music. He can be contacted at 595-9841 or

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