Louis "Sabu" Martinez (July 14, 1930 – January 13, 1979) was an American conguero and percussionist. A prominent player in the Cubop movement in the 1950s, Martinez appeared on many important recordings and live performances during that period. Martinez also recorded several Latin jazz albums, now recognized as classics of the genre.
Born in New York City, Martinez made his professional debut in 1941 at age 11. He replaced Chano Pozo in Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra in 1948, and began performing with Benny Goodman's Bebop Orchestra in 1949. Over the next 15 years, Martinez worked with Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, J. J. Johnson, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Mary Lou Williams, Lionel Hampton, Noro Morales, Marcelino Guerra, Esy Morales, the Lecuona Cuban Boys, Miguelito Valdés, Tito Rodríguez, and the Joe Loco Trio. He also worked with vocalists Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Harry Belafonte.
Martinez first recorded with Art Blakey in 1953, and contributed to his Orgy in Rhythm and Holiday for Skins projects from 1957–58. Martinez became a bandleader in 1957, recording his debut album, Palo Congo, for Blue Note Records. He followed it up with releases on Vik and Alegre Records. Martinez moved to Sweden in 1967 and recorded with the Francy Boland-Kenny Clarke big band, releasing two albums. Subsequently he led the group Burnt Sugar, which was active into the mid '70s. On January 13, 1979, he died in Sweden at the age of 48 of a gastric ulcer.
- Sabu Martinez (1957) Palo Congo
- Sabu Martinez (1961). Sabu's Jazz Espagnole. Alegre Records.
- Sabu Martinez (1973). Afro Temple. Grammofonverket.
- Dizzy Gillespie (1947-1949). The Complete RCA Victor Recordings: 1947-1949. Bluebird/RCA.
- Horace Silver Trio (1952). Horace Silver Trio, Vol. 1: Spotlight on Drums. Blue Note Records.
- Horace Silver Trio (1953). Horace Silver Trio, Vol. 2. Blue Note Records.
- J. J. Johnson (1953). The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson. Blue Note Records.
- Art Blakey; Horace Silver Trio (1953). Horace Silver Trio & Art Blakey + Sabu. Blue Note Records.
- Horace Silver (1953). Introducing the Horace Silver Trio.
- J. J. Johnson; Clifford Brown (1953). Jay Jay Johnson All Stars. Blue Note Records.
- Art Blakey - Drum Suite (Columbia, 1957)
- Art Blakey - Orgy in Rhythm (Blue Note, 1957)
- Art Blakey - Cu-Bop (Jubilee, 1957)
- Art Blakey - Holiday for Skins (Blue Note, 1959)
- Johnny Richards (1958). Rites of Diablo. Roulette Records.
- George Russell (1966). The Essence of.... Soul Note.
- Kenny Clarke; Francy Boland (1969). Three Latin Adventures. MPS/Motor.
- Kenny Clarke; Francy Boland (1973). Latin Kaleidoscope. MPS.
- Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass (1973). Wide Open. Polydor.
- Ed Thigpen (1974). Action-Re-Action. GNP.
- Charlie Mariano (1974). Reflections. Catalyst Records.
- Art Farmer (1976). A Sleeping Bee. Sonet.
- Mads Vinding Group (1977). Mads Vinding Group. Cosmos Collector.
- George Russell (1978). New York Big Band. Soul Note.
- Terry Allen (1979). Lubbock. Fate.
- Patato (1984). Masterpiece. Messidor.
- Tony Bennett (1987). Jazz. Columbia Records.
- Peruchin; Charlie Palmieri (1995). Cuban Rhythms. Caney.