Pianist Jim Martinez, from Sacramento,
California, began his musical career at the age of four, receiving
18 years of classical training. He has amassed a list of
musical accomplishments encompassing nearly all styles of music.
Martinez, 47, is a Steinway Pianos Artist and has performed or recorded with Jazz notables Lionel
Kenton Alumni, Christian
McBride, Russell Malone, Roy
Hargrove, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Benny
Golson and Ed Thigpen, the first drummer
for the famous Oscar Peterson Trio. Jim has also performed with
the Sacramento Symphony and toured as a featured guest with the U.S.
Air Force Jazz Band from Travis AFB (CA).
Martinez opened for All-Star Night 13 straight
years at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in
Moscow, Idaho. Other highlights of venues and events include
the Bix Biederbecke Festival (Davenport, IA),
the Harvest Jazz and Blues in New Brunswick,
Canada, the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California, St
Peter’s Church in New York City and The
Basement Jazz Club in Sydney, Australia.
He recently worked as pianist and musical director for Joan
Rivers and Bob Newhart at Harrah's
in Lake Tahoe, NV.
Martinez gained international exposure through
his 'Echoes of Oscar Peterson', which featured
Martinez playing his own transcriptions of Peterson's performances.
In November 1998, Ed Thigpen traveled from Denmark to join Jim
in a tribute to Art Tatum & Oscar Peterson. They also did
a similar tribute together in 1991.
Jim has twelve CD's to his credit. Four of these
recordings are “Jazz Praise”, his
arrangements of church hymns as straight-ahead Jazz. His latest
CD’s are "Jazz Praise IV: He Keeps Me Swingin'" and “A
Classical and Jazz Tribute to Edvard Grieg”.
These recordings are available through his own music label, Invisible
Touch Music and at www.jimmartinez.com; also via iTunes and other
Martinez creatively combines hymns and Jazz standards: “Amazing
Grace” ala Dave Brubeck’s ”Take Five”, “Open
the Eyes of My Heart, Lord” ala Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night
in Tunisia” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” ala Vince
Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy”. These projects
were recorded at some of the finest recording studios in the country: Fantasy
Studios in Berkeley, CA, Avatar Studios in
NYC and the famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
Jim recently sold his company, Invisible
Touch Music Software, which was founded in 1989. The
company arranged and recorded MIDI files for all digital and
acoustic player-pianos. One of the highlights was a three year
agreement giving exclusive international distribution rights
to Warner Brothers Publications.
Martinez is the Minister of Music at River Valley
Church in Rancho Cordova, CA. Along with being a Steinway Pianos Performing Artist, he is also a recording artist for PianoDisc Player
Systems and QRS Music.
Jim lives in Rocklin, CA (near Sacramento) with
his wife, Suzy, and two sons, James and Ben. ***