photo credit: Chris Murray Productions https://www.chrismurrayproductions.com/

Pink Martini percussionist Miguel Bernal is a living encyclopedia of Cuban rhythms and folklore; at his grandmother’s side, Miguel developed a love for Lucumi (aka Santaria) traditions and rhythms. For twenty years he was the principal percussionist for “Raices Profundas,” a folkloric dance company that was a cultural ambassador from Cuba to the rest of the world. He has also for many years been an influential teacher at universities and music camps throughout the US. Somehow, like so many others in our sprawling musical family, Miguel, whose talent had long been respected by Pink Martini’s percussion section, ended up living in Portland, and came to the attention of our bandleader Thomas Lauderdale. Before he knew it, in late 2015, he was swept up into our band, and has been touring with us ever since. In addition to providing deeply rooted rhythms on hand percussion, Miguel also charms our live audiences as lead singer on our cover of the classic Ernesto Lecuona ballad “Yo te quiero siempre,” which is a staple of our concerts. Miguel is based in the US, but he spends as much time as he can with his family in Cuba, where he is still revered as one of the most sought after Bataleros (player of the sacred bata drums) from Havana.

1. Si pudieras haber visto a algún músico en concierto, vivo o muerto, a quién nunca pudiste ver en vivo, ¿quién sería?

If you could have seen any musician in concert, dead or alive, who you never got to see live, who would it be?

Mongo Santa Maria

2. ¿Cuál es tu canción favorita de Pink Martini para tocar?

What is your favorite Pink Martini song to perform?

“Hey Eugene”

3. ¿Qué canción de Pink Martini se te atora en la cabeza?

What Pink Martini song gets stuck in your head?


4. Si pudieras tener un concierto en una banda actual, ¿cuál?

If you could have a side gig in any current band, which?


5. Si tuviera un robot que pudiera hacer una tarea doméstica por usted… ¿cuál sería?

If you had a robot that could do one household chore for you… what would it be?

Concinar y botar la basura

Cook and take out the trash

6. ¿Quién es tu director de cine favorito?

Who is your favorite movie director?

Denzel Washington

7. ¿Cuál fue el primer concierto que viste?

What was the first concert you ever saw?

Orquestra Iraquere de Chucho Valdez

Chucho Valdez orchestra

8. ¿Qué música elegirías como banda sonora para tu momento más triunfante?

What music would you choose as a soundtrack to your most triumphant moment?

Pink Martini!

9. ¿Cuál es tu dulce / postre favorito?

What’s your favorite sweet/dessert?

El flan


10. ¿Quién te gustaría que te interpretara en Pink Martini: The Movie?

Who do you wish would play you in Pink Martini: The Movie?

Cuba Gooding

11. Si pudieras recorrer con seguridad cualquier civilización antigua ¿cuál?

If you could safely tour any ancient civilization, which?

El tabor consagrado de mis ancestros

The civilization that was sacred life drum of my ancestors – in Africa

12. ¿Cuál es tu pasatiempo no musical favorito?

What is your favorite non-musical hobby?



13. Si fuera instantáneamente lo suficientemente hábil como para tener otra ocupación en el mundo además del músico, ¿qué elegiría?

If you were instantly skilled enough to have any one other occupation in the world besides musician, what would you choose?

Téchnico de audio

Audio technician

14. ¿Cuál es tu ciudad favorita del mundo

What is your favorite city in the world?


15. ¿Qué es lo más divertido de estar en Pink Martini?

What’s the most fun thing about being in Pink Martini?

Tocar mi percusión

Playing percussion

16. ¿Cómo te mantienes cuerdo y tranquilo durante esta crisis y estas semanas de cuarentena?

How are you keeping sane and calm during this crisis and these weeks of quarantine?

Mi señora, mi madre, mi casa, y mi familia

My lady, my mother, my house and my family