Amanda Martinez is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Amanda’s career highlights to date include headlining the Blue Note jazz club in New York City, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada. She has also been a guest recording and touring artist of award-winning guitarist Jesse Cook. On multiple occasions, she has sold out Toronto’s Koerner Hall as well as Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and Winter Garden Theatre.
Amanda credits her longtime band for being a huge support to her career. “They are world class musicians whom I feel lucky to play with. Each one contributes to our overall sound.” The ensemble features her guitarist and now producer Kevin Laliberte; her husband, bassist Drew Birston; and a premier group of Cuban Canadians: percussionist Rosendo “Chendy” Leon, trumpet player Alexander Brown, violinist Osvaldo Rodriguez and tres player Pablosky Rosales.
Amanda Martinez has recorded four albums (Sola, 2006; Amor, 2009; Mañana, 2013; and Libre, 2019). For her latest, she called on new collaborators to tell stories about women finding their strength. Amanda says, “Libre has a different feel to it, as I wanted to explore adding an African influence. Then I ended up expanding things to include artists from other genres. A lot of the songs are duets which showcase different voices. These include Juno-winning songwriter and guitarist Donné Roberts, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Elsten Torres, who co-wrote ‘Hey Corazon’, Kellylee Evans who performs and co-wrote ‘Libérame’, and Guadalupe Urbina from Costa Rica.”