On Empathie, her newest EP released in February 2012, Gabriela Martina creates a sacred space with her finely crafted compositions. Listeners are pulled directly into the center of unique arrangements, where they are beckoned to take the time and space to explore their own creativity and imagination. At times, her lyrics invoke a sense of calm, while at others they incite feelings of freedom and open abandon. The upbeat “Narcissus” is a testimony of obsession, inner struggle and a search for one’s own identity. Gabriela’s sultry drawn melody on “Love Me” is a raw desperate plea, longing for the unsaid. Meanwhile, her devilish interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia” challenges the listener in a teasing way, that showcases her pure tone and vocal flexibility. Supported by the artistry and musicianship of an incredibly talented group of players, Empathie is an unforgettable experience, where this bold artist invites listeners on a journey of self-reflection that detours through the past, longs for a free future and penetrates into the subtle layers of the subconscious.
Gabriela Martina (born Gabriela Martina Heer), a native of Switzerland, was onstage for the first time at the age of five with her family as a traditional Swiss yodel group. After studying music in high school and a year at London’s Vocaltech Music College, Gabriela started her professional studies in singing at the Jazzschool in Lucerne.
Before she moved to Boston to study at the renowned Berklee College of Music in 2008 she was very active on the Swiss music scene performing among others with funk bands Talking Loud and Soulvirus, the pop rock group PinkBliss, the electro/urban trio aromat, an a cappella duo called not2help and her own jazz duo featuring pianist Luzia von Wyl.
During her career, she has performed with Meshell Ndegeocello, Jack DeJohnette, Angelique Kidjo, recorded with J.R. Robinson and was part of a master class with Dr. Bernice Reagon. In 2009, she was invited to sing at the Sure Voice Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Lee Ritenour’s band.
Gabriela has worked with renowned teachers such as Donna McElroy, Lauren Newton, Bob Stoloff, Dennis Montgomery III, Mili Bermejo, Kudisan Kai-Regalot, Lisa Thorson and Armsted Christian. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in May 2010.
Gabriela released her critically acclaimed debut album Curiosity in 2010, which included “Ain’t Nobody”, a finalist of the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards 2012. Curiosity began paving the way into an unknown field of musical exploration. Her first music video for the song “Narcissus” brought amazing feedback for her fresh and lyrical visual way of presenting a composition that is intellectually through-thought, yet still accessible to a wider audience.
Returning with her latest release Empathie, Gabriela moved towards more uncharted waters. In addition to performing regularly around the US East Coast and Europe with her group which includes Alex Bailey on drums, Kyle Miles on bass, Jussi Reijonen on guitar and Jiri Nedoma on piano, and her work as a voice teacher, she has begun composing for her much-anticipated second full-length album, due out early 2013. Empathie is merely a teaser of things to come.
"... I had the pleasure of performing with Gabriela Martina at the 7th Shure Jazz Voice Competition, hosted by the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2009. Gabriela is an outstanding arranger and vocalist. Her talent and skills have exposed her to many respected and wellknown musicians..." -Patrice Rushen Composer/Producer/International Recording Artist/Pianist/ Educator"It is with great pleasure to be assured that Gabriela is continuing her quest of intense determination to create original music of taste and uniqueness. Her recent recordings confirms her relentless work!" -Joe SampleComposer/Pianist (The Crusaders, Tina Turner, B.B. King, Eric Clapton)“...when I say Gabriela Martina is in an elite class I say it because she has achieved it by playing hundreds of gigs where the real playing is taking place and she has lived the “Music Life”, performing and composing around the world, playing Jazz with a unique blend of world influences...” -Jamey Haddad Percussionist (Paul Simon, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman) “Gabriela Martina’s participation in a musical project challenges everyone to reach for the next level, she is constantly inspiring the musicians she performs with to do their best work.” -Joe Mulholland Pianist, recording artist, composer, teacher & Chair of the Harmony Department of Berklee College of Music“It takes a strong person, and a unique artist, to work their way through it. From my experience in the industry, and with Gabriela personally [...] I believe she has what it takes.“ -David Greenberg Director of Marketing – Ted Kurland Associates