ON THE HEELS of her premier contemporary jazz CD, Powerful Baby, Vancouver-based vocalist Martina Griffiths releases Picture This…, an eclectic compilation of cover tunes, ranging from Prince\'s haunting ballad \"When Doves Cry\" and Bonnie Raitt\'s \"I Can\'t Make You Love Me\" to the popular standards \"God Bless The Child\" and \"Bei Mir Bist Du Schon\".
\"I wanted to make a CD that is as diverse as me… I\'m a Gemini,\" laughs Griffiths. \"These are the most popular and well-received songs from our live shows, and the ones we have been grooving to the most. We try to turn each show into a party.\"
Griffiths’ choice to record such a variety of musical styles comes honestly, since the Montreal-born performer grew up listening to her brother’s Beatles’ records and hearing her mother sing Shirley Temple songs. Her personal life has also been quite varied – she’s travelled extensively, cycled across this vast nation, played competitive water polo in almost every pool in Canada, and even lived in the Yukon.
\"This record defies categorization,\" adds Griffiths. \"It challenges my audiences to hear different styles of music that they would not normally hear, which makes for a far more interesting live performance. Each song is a snapshot from different moments in my life that evokes specific memories. It’s also great toe-tapping cocktail music, which is fun for my band and the audience.\"
Griffiths has performed at Vancouver\'s prestigious Orpheum Theatre, Ottawa\'s popular Women\'s Voices Festival, the Vancouver Sacred Music Festival, plus shared stages with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Women\'s Chorus. Her vocal and spoken word improvisation performances at art gallery openings, cabarets and national festivals as well as regular house gigs at some local trendy restaurant/lounges facilitated the songbird\'s exposure to diverse audiences.
As a founding member of the spectacular lounge act The Lavender Martinis (originally Candy), Griffiths honed her dynamic performing skills - while trying to overcome paralysing stage fright - by taking acting lessons. Conquering this fear gave Griffiths a newfound confidence in her voice - a confidence that led to the production of her debut CD, Powerful Baby, her sizzling collection of originals and standards, drawing from jazz, blues, musical theatre and Latin influences, and delivered in Griffiths\' playfully seductive vocal style.
With Picture This…, Griffiths wanted to experiment again with different genres. \"My producer Tony Chamberlist and I coined the phrase \'Fuzz\' blending the words fun fused jazz. Tony said he could hear me smiling as I sing. Each of these songs tells a story, which I think everyone can relate to their own life experiences, and some of the songs are just plain wacky, like the theme to \"Spiderman\". I loved the show when I was a kid and would sing the theme at the top of my lungs.\"
Griffiths kicked-off in Europe as a featured guest performer at Schouwburg Amphion\'s Jazz Night in Doetinchem, Netherlands, and played at Doetinchem\'s cultural dinner café Borghuis with renowned jazz pianist Karel Giltay.
Martina Griffiths plans to tour Picture This… in Canada and Europe after her hometown CD release party at Gastown\'s trendy ONE Lounge.