Rebecca Martin and TWAIN Featured in New York Times. Martin a ‘touchstone’ to a generation of jazz singers for singing and songwriting.

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KINGSTON, N.Y. —  A New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure piece written by Nate Chinen was published this weekend on Rebecca Martin and her upcoming release TWAIN on Sunnyside Records (available nationwide on Tuesday, March 26th).  “Ms. Martin is a vocalist with an earnest and unaffected style and a songwriter of unforced insight; Mr. Grenadier, her husband, is in the top tier of jazz bassists. Together they made Ms. Martin’s new album, “Twain,” due out on Sunnyside on Tuesday, in cloistered intimacy, recording a dozen of her songs with no initial accompaniment other than upright bass (his) and fingerpicked acoustic guitar (hers).”

“… the new album also highlights a shift toward original material and folky ambiance by a generation of jazz singers, some of whom see Ms. Martin as a touchstone. Among them are Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, with whom Ms. Martin formed a collective called Tillery two years ago, after they struck an instant chemistry late one evening around her dinner table. “She’s been a great guide and mentor and sister in my songwriting,” said Ms. Parlato, who won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004 but hadn’t written her own songs before befriending Ms. Martin.”

“…And, perhaps most of all, Ms. Martin’s songs, which have long dwelled in implication, creating a vivid emotional climate without divulging many details. One reason younger songwriters admire Ms. Martin may be that she writes from a place of genuine interiority; another is that her melodies and her lyrics feel so naturally enmeshed.”

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Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin Discusses the Lyrics on TWAIN, Community and Collaborations.

From "Twain". Photo credit: Pat Kepic

Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin Discusses the Lyrics on TWAIN, Community and Collaborations. 

Along with release of TWAIN on March 26, Martin looks ahead to performing with her trio TILLERY that features GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS at the Kennedy Center for the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival In May

Kingston, NY – “I get all of my material for and emotional connection to the songs I write or interpret these days from hands on experiences,” says the singer and songwriter Rebecca Martin reflecting on the songs from TWAIN (Sunnyside Records). “I’ve become so active in our community that my life as an avid reader has transformed itself into one of an avid doer.”

A state of Maine native, Martin moved to New York City to pursue her musical endeavors. Throughout the 90’s, Martin co-led the influential duo Once Blue (EMI Records) with Jesse Harris. After a handful of critically acclaimed solo recordings Martin migrated North to the Hudson Valley with husband and collaborator Larry Grenadier and had a son. From that point on, in tandem with making music, she found a new way of using her organizational skills in community work. There, she tirelessly advocated for transparency and better communication between the people and government. This work eventually landed her a position as Executive Director of an Urban Land Trust in the area, where under her leadership the organization was sited as a national model for urban land trusts by the Land Trust Alliance.   Known for her “dizzying array of local initiatives“, Martin and many volunteers created programs and committees for rail trails, urban agriculture, African-American cemetery preservation projects and more. “Having a child and being so far from family motivated me to get as involved as I have.” says Rebecca. “It has been an eye opening experience to say the least, and has certainly informed my music.”

Yesterday I saw it coming on. 

There was little that the peasant could do. 

Into their hearts fully open and aligned 

for the daggers and arrows that flew.

Just beyond the hillside 

back where the curtain calls to us

There the music reminds me 

that the whole world is waiting to find us”

From “Beyond the Hillside” by Rebecca Martin

“There are two distinct story lines running through this particular piece, the ‘bearing witness’ to the many unpleasantries out in the field and the hopefulness in the music. It’s a very bittersweet song.”

Tillery. Photo credit:  Mark Niskanen

Martin credits her friendship with GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS as being her ‘touchstone to the music’ during the recent phase in her life of work, family and community. The inspiration she drew from their communion resulted in the formation of the super group TILLERY, a trio that they share. The three kindred spirits’ seamless rapport has been wowing audiences since they joined forces in 2010. These days, the threesome work together when schedules permit, including a prestigious performance at the KENNEDY CENTER in Washington, D.C. as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival on May 17th, 2013.

To help Martin celebrate her new release TWAIN, Parlato and Stevens will join her on stage for a song at the Rockwood Music Hall, stage 2 located at 196 Allen Street, NY on Thursday, March 28th in New York City. Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased online by visiting ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL.

For further information or to request a copy of Twain, please contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music: patrice@septembergurl.com or 718.768.3859