Gabriela Martina is a vocalist, composer, and bandleader who grew up in Switzerland. She spent 13 years living and working in the US (Boston & New York) learning from the people who made Jazz (among many other styles of music originating from the US) as important of an art form as it is today.
Gabriela grew up yodeling with her family and had performances as early as the age of 4. Being raised on a beautiful farm in the heart of Switzerland surrounded by a musical family has influenced her musical path strongly. Martina’s upcoming album ‘Homage to Grämlis’ (2022, delayed by Corona 2020), is a tribute to the farm in the Swiss Alps where she was raised. In spring of 2019 she won the LABgrant from The Boston Foundation, which gave her great support with her album production of ‘Homage to Grämlis’.
In the fall of 2021, Martina had the great honor to receive the arts & culture award 2020 from the arts and culture commission Horw, her home town in Switzerland. This grant will further help the album release tour with ‘Homage to Grämlis’, that is now rescheduled for March 2022. She also received the DIPLÔME DE MÉDAILLE DE VERMEIL from the lauréats Arts-Sciences-Lettres, 2020, in Paris (France).
During the time of the pandemic, Gabriela Martina has composed nine new compositions for my newest album called ‘STATES’. The word ‘States’ refers to the United States of America, but also to a ‘state of mind’, or simply a ‘state of being’. Sounds created with your voice and percussion/drumming as the first human musical elements. I have used them as the core elements for my compositions. Her works include word play, music with words (spoken word) and words with no meaning (gibberish). The release for this album is slated for fall 2022.
Released in 2016 with a four-star review from DownBeat, her album, No White Shoes, represented a major step in the singer’s sojourn as a 21st-century musician. Martina had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with heavyweights like Meshell Ndegeocello, Jack DeJohnette, and Angelique Kidjo. She recorded with veteran drummer J.R. Robinson and was a semi-finalist in the Shure Voice Competition at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival, performing with guitarist Lee Ritenour’s band. Martina released a critically hailed EP in 2010, Curiosity, which included her original song “Ain’t Nobody,” a finalist in the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards in 2012. Martina owns her own booking agency called Red Velvet Sounds and is cofounder and curator of the free improv concert series In Momentum.