"Reminiscent of the Latin songstress of days of old…strong and defiant while soft and vulnerable...”
Mike Benhaim- METRO News
This fall 2009, Amanda will launch her long awaited sophomore album, Amor, a collection of songs she wrote while pregnant with her son Leo. Produced by George Seara who also co-produced her debut album Sola, the album features Amanda’s longtime collaborative musical partners, Kevin Laliberte (guitar), Drew Birston (bass), Rosendo “Chendy” Leon (percussion) Alexander Brown (trumpet) and Osvaldo Rodriguez (violin) whom she credits her eclectic fusion of sound. The new album also features new flavours from guests Kevin Fox (cello), Robi Botos (piano) and Tom Szczesniak (accordion).
Last year (2008) marked a year of change in Amanda’s career. In February 2008, Martinez accepted an invitation to travel with award winning guitarist Jesse Cook to perform at the International Jazz Festival of Dubai and then to New York to perform at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Centre. Later that year she received the Emerging Artist Award from FACTOR (Foundation for Assisting Canadian Talent) and funding from Canada Council for the Arts for her latest album Amor. The same year, Martinez decided to leave her 3 year host and producer position at JAZZ FM91 where she launched Café Latino, Canada’s Latin jazz show in order to commit to her artistry as composer and performer.
Born in Canada to a Mexican father and South African mother, Amanda grew up in a house that loved music. Although she spent her school years studying classical piano and ballet, Amanda obtained an undergraduate degree in biology and later completed her master’s degree in international business. It was only after her first year as associate director of finance at one of Canada’s leading banks that she made the decision to pursue music professionally. Over the last 3 years (2007-2009) Amanda was nominated Latin Jazz Artist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards. Her debut album “Sola” won Best World Music, selling over 6000 copies and becoming Toronto’s top selling indie release.
While maintaining a busy performing schedule, Amanda has also been cast to guest star in various television roles including Gemini nominated ReGenesis, Life with Derek, & Train 48. Her latest role, lead to a collaboration with director Naomi Jaye who developed her first music video Guajira Sola. Amanda has been an invited guest on Jesse Cook’s album Frontiers and his music video for his upcoming release The Rumba Foundation. Most recently Amanda’s music has been featured in the short film Every Girl Wants a Skirt like Frida and the documentary Ciclo based on the bicycle journey her father and uncle took from Mexico to Canada 53 years ago.
This fall 2009, Amanda launches her new album Amor in partnership with Massey Hall at Canada’s new 1140 seat venue Koerner Hall, at the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre in Toronto. She makes her debut at New York’s Blue Note in November 2009 and plans are in the works for a Canadian and US tour in 2010.