Great art often arises out of transition and displacement. For the extraordinary Swiss-born, Boston/New York-based vocalist GABRIELA MARTINA creating a body of original music in her new setting has meant grappling with big questions and forging a singular sound out of a disparate array of influences, from jazz, funk and pop to gospel and Alpine roots music. Slated for release in spring 2015, Martina’s arresting and utterly personal debut album No White Shoes introduces a rapidly evolving artist steeped in jazz but unfettered by the music’s prevailing conventions.
On Empathie, her 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.