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Amanda Martinez

Latin jazz / World music singer-songwriter

Song – "Alma Mia" - Now playing...

Born in Canada to a Mexican father and South African mother, Amanda Martinez grew up in a music-loving household. Although she spent her early years studying classical piano and ballet, she took another path in life. But after a year as an Associate Director of Finance at one of Canada’s leading banks, she made the decision to leave and pursue music professionally, full-time.

Martinez released her debut album Sola in 2006. For three consecutive years starting in 2007, she was nominated for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards, and Sola won for Best World Music Album in 2007. The following year, Martinez accepted an invitation to travel with award-winning guitarist Jesse Cook and performed at the International Jazz Festival of Dubai and Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Centre in New York. Later in 2008 she received the Emerging Artist Award from FACTOR, and decided to leave her position as host/producer of the Café Latino program at JAZZ FM91, after a three-year stint, in order to commit more time to her artistic career.

Martinez’s sophomore album Amor, released in 2009, is a collection of songs she wrote while pregnant with her son Leo. The album – produced by George Seara (Herbie Hancock, Sting) – hit number one on the iTunes World Music Chart in 2009, and was been Top 10 throughout 2010. While touring Amor, Martinez sold out Toronto’s 1,100-seat Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, performed alongside Jesse Cook at a sold-out Massey Hall, and played to a full house at New York’s legendary Bluenote Jazz Club.

In 2010, Martinez travelled to South Africa for the first time to perform as part of the FIFA fan fests during the World Cup celebrations. She performed her song "Sueños Posibles" ("Dreams Realized"), written in honour of the opening game (Mexico vs. South Africa), in tribute to her bi-cultural parents. Martinez brought her family on the journey, which was captured on film for release as a documentary.

In addition to making music, Martinez has also guest-starred on various television shows including the Gemini Award-nominated ReGenesis, Life with Derek and Train 48. Her music was featured in the short film Every Girl Wants a Skirt like Frida and in the documentary Ciclo, about a bicycle journey that Martinez’s father and uncle took from Mexico to Canada more than 50 years ago.

Performances/news this month
June 24 - Toronto, Palmerston Theatre, guest of Pena Canabrava
June 30 - Toronto, Mississauga Living Arts Centre, Hispanic Extravaganza
July 15 - Toronto, Mel Lastman Square, Cultura Festival


Sueños Posibles (single, 2010)
Amor (2009)
Sola (2006)

SOCAN Connection
Member since 2004