January 11, 2010
A Canadian songstress on a mission of love and hope for all, “Latin chanteuse” Lady Amanda Martinez is a on a roll and the world is loving her presence. I had a chance to speak with her over the holidays.
Tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a new mom and feel grateful to be pursuing a career that I love. I just finished my first fall tour since the new album Amor came out and performed for the first time at NYC’s [renowned jazz club] Blue Note.
I didn’t really think about getting into the business of music, but was following my instincts of wanting to perform.
What does "Jazz" mean to you?
Jazz means spontaneity to me, and the ability to improvise.
Who are some of your musical influences and why?
I have many people who I am inspired by: Mercedes Sosa, Chavela Vargas, Elis Regina, Lhasa, Lila Downs, Rosario and Diego el Cigala.
You are the host of a Latin jazz show on Jazz FM91. How did this great connection occur?
I resigned as host of Cafe Latino in 2008 after three years in order to focus on my own music career. I had the opportunity to become host when I found out the station was looking through a friend volunteering at the station and submitted a demo.
In your latest release Amor, your rhythms and sounds have evolved since your debut Sola. Can you talk about your journey since your debut?
Since my last CD Sola, I have been working with the same band members and doing lots of festivals and performances together so I think we have become a more cohesive unit. The new album has some new collaborations including one with Alex Cuba and some new musical sounds including cello and accordion. The journey has been a fun one. Along the way, meeting the love of my life and becoming a married woman to a very wonderful man and musician.
You have performed with award winning guitarist Jesse Cook at the International Jazz Festival of Dubai and then to New York to perform at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Centre. How was that experience?
It was a big thrill for me to perform with Jesse Cook. He is an artist I have always admired, so to play some very prestigious venues with him was exciting. I also love to travel and had never been to Dubai, so that was incredible
What kind of music inspired you growing up?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of Mexican folk, traditional Cuban music, jazz and classical. I was studying classical piano after school and loved to dance ballet.
Who are your top artists on your iPod right now?
What’s next for you?
We are heading back to New York City to showcase in the new year and will be doing a Canadian Tour this summer. I am going to be filming a new video in January with director Naomi Jaye.
For more information on Amanda Martinex, check out www.amandamartinez.ca