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Jim Martinez

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Biography

Pianist Jim Martinez began his musical career at the age of four. In a short amount of time, he has amassed a list of musical accomplishments encompassing nearly all styles of music.

Martinez, 40, recently opened All-Star Night for the eleventh year in a row at the 2006 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Headliners included The Lionel Hampton Big Band, The Four Freshman, Roy Hargrove, Freddy Cole, and many others. The L.A. Times calls this festival “…the number one festival in the world.”

His first major professional gig was with legendary jazz trombonist, Sy Zentner. Jim has since performed or recorded with notables like Lionel Hampton, the Stan Kenton Alumni, Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Jeff Hamilton, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Benny Golson, Harold Jones and Ed Thigpen, the first drummer for the famous Oscar Peterson Trio. Jim has performed with the Sacramento Symphony and toured as a featured guest with the U.S. Air Force Jazz Band.

Martinez gained international exposure through his ‘Echoes of Oscar Peterson’, which featured Martinez playing his own transcriptions of Peterson’s performances. In November 1998, Ed Thigpen traveled from Denmark to join Jim in a tribute to Art Tatum & Oscar Peterson. They also did a similar tribute together in 1991.

Jim has nine CD’s to his credit. “Music For Your Soul” is Jim’s most recent of three Gospel Jazz CD’s which contain his arrangements of church hymns as Jazz.

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