Saturday Evening, February 11, 2017 - The Mel Martin Band at The North Coast Brewing Co. - Jazz at the Sequoia Room. 444 North Main Street Fort Bragg, CA 95437 United States . Show begins at 7:30PM. Tickets $20 Featuring Mel Martin -Soprano and tenor saxophones and flute, Keith Saunders - piano, Robb Fisher - bass and Jeff Marrs - drums.
My first time as leader in the North Bay's top notch Jazz space known as the Sequoia Room. I'll be performing my original compostions and those of Benny Carter, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner and others with my long time rhythm section. It's a wonderful beach front environment w/ great food and plenty of Thelonious Ale! Hope to see you there!
Sunday Afternoon, June 18, 2017 (Father's Day) - The Mel Martin All Star Big Band Featuring vocalist Tiffany Austin at the Filoli Gardens. 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062
Come celebrate Father's Day and my 75th B'day concert!
“The Mel Martin Big Band was exciting, rewarding, and more.”
Philip Elwood - San Francisco Chronicle
The Bay Area has always been a hotbed of jazz talent. Many of its brightest stars have moved on to the greener pastures of New York and beyond. Saxophonist/composer/arranger Mel Martin has chosen to maintain his permanent residence in the green pastures of Marin County. Mel still travels quite a bit doing performances and educational clinics world-wide but has made a commitment to forming a swinging, “in-your-face”, volatile big band. The roots of the band began in the early ‘nineties when Mel Martin was contacted by such jazz greats as Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Charles Mingus’ Epitaph and Joe Henderson to help them put together high-level big bands for Bay Area performances at venues such as Davies Symphony Hall, Kimball’s, Filoli Gardens, Yoshi’s and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. These experiences were the seeds of what has become a truly all-star ensemble. The band has performed sold-out engagements at The Russian River Jazz Festival, The Filoli Summer Series, Jazz at Pearl’s and Yoshi’s.
Mel Martin is widely known as the artistic director and driving force of the group Bebop and Beyond, The Tenor Conclave and The Mel Martin Band. He has lent his extraordinary woodwind talents to many recordings and performances by artists such as Benny Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, The Count Basie orchestra, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Mingus Epitaph, Kenny Barron, Mongo Santamaria, Santana, Freddie Cole, Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Louie Bellson, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and many, many more. Mel Martin is a recipient of several National Endowment for the Arts Awards including jazz composition, jazz fellowship, recording and jazz ensemble categories. Hearing Mel Martin performing his own powerhouse compositions in the big band setting is a riveting and fiery listening experience not to be missed!
The repertoire of The Mel Martin All-Star Big Band consists of new arrangements of many standards in addition to music by Count Basie, Benny Carter, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Gerry Mulligan and Oliver Nelson favorites and new arrangements of Mel Martin’s original compositions. The emphasis is on Swing and fire as in “it don’t mean a thing” (if it ain’t got it!)
Vocalist Tiffany Austin’s tradition-rooted yet totally modern style has established her as one of the fastest rising jazz stars in Northern California. Before earning a law degree at U.C. Berkeley, she’d performed on three continents—around her native Los Angeles while attending college, then for a year in England, and eventually for five and a half years in Tokyo. However, instead of taking the bar exam, she decided instead to devote her life to her first love—music.
Austin’s music and voice draw upon influences such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin, yet she also infuses songs with her own signature style that is precise, intelligent, and soulful. In fact, her arrangements vary from classic swing to contemporary R&B à la Robert Glasper or Jose James. Her emotional and nuanced delivery has caught the attention of eminent artists, whom she has joined onstage: vibraphonist Roy Ayers at Motion Blue (Japan), drummer Tommy Campbell at the Blue Note (NYC), and saxophonist John Handy for a three-night engagement at Dizzy’s (NYC) commemorating his 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival performance.