Angel Romero, World Music Central
Amanda Martinez is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose music is an original blend of influences from her Mexican and South African roots.
Amanda credits her longtime band for being a huge support to her career. “They are world class musicians who I feel lucky to play with. Each one contributes to our overall sound.” Her band features her long time guitarist and now-producer Kevin Laliberté, husband/bassist Drew Birston, and Cuban Canadians Rosendo “Chendy” Leon (percussion), Alexander Brown (trumpet), Osvaldo Rodriguez (violin) and Pablosky Rosales (tres). She often tours with Mexican bassist Paco Luviano.
She has released four albums and her latest recording Libre is her most eclectic creation to date. Her songs have been selected for four Putumayo world music collections.
Career highlights include headlining the Blue Note jazz club in NYC, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada. She has also been a guest recording and touring artist of award winning guitarist Jesse Cook. She has sold out Toronto’s Koerner Hall multiple times and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and Winter Garden Theatre.
Amanda has been recognized with multiple nominations as Latin Jazz Artist of the Year (Canada’s National Jazz Awards), Best World Music Artist (Canadian Folk Music Awards) and she was the winner of Best World Music Artist (Toronto Independent Music Awards). Her albums have reached the top 10 on iTunes World Music charts.
Amanda also works as an actor in film and television and has guested on shows including Designated Survivor, Suits, Regenesis and Kim’s Convenience and will be guest starring on an episode of Private Eyes with Jason Priestly. Film credits include My Mother’s Darkest Secrets and I was Lorena Bobbitt for the Lifetime Network.
She hosted Panamania during CBC’s coverage of the PanAm Games and the web series Ingredients for a Good Life, showcasing Mexico to Canadians. Ms. Martinez is a musical ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages Canada and was awarded Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians by the Hispanic Congress.
Amanda lives in Toronto with her husband and their three young children. She holds a Master’s in International Business from York University’s Schulich School of Business.