Born in Canada to a Mexican father and South African mother, Amanda Martinez grew up in a music-loving household. Although she spent her early years studying classical piano and ballet, she took another path in life. But after a year as an Associate Director of Finance at one of Canada’s leading banks, she made the decision to leave and pursue music professionally, full-time.
Amanda is now a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Her solo CDs have garnered her multiple nominations for Latin Jazz Performer of the Year, and her songs have appeared on three Putumayo world music collections: Bossanova Around the World, Latin Dreamland and most recently, Café Latino. Her third and latest CD Mañana was helmed by GRAMMY-winning producer Javier Limón and was released in 2013. Limón, whose production credits include acclaimed singers such as Buika, Mariza and Diego el Cigala, hails Martinez as “one of the greatest voices in the world.”
Martinez has headlined at the legendary Blue Note jazz club, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Festivities in South Africa, and at the 2011 PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara, and is now honorary co-chair of PanAm 2015’s Ignite program. She will be performing in a series of countdown concerts to the 2015 Games, as well as speaking at events connecting athletes and sports fans with musicians and art lovers.
In addition to her music career, Amanda has worked as a radio host (launching Canada’s JAZZFM91 Latin Jazz program), TV personality (BRAVO Arts & Minds, Star TV!) and actress (Regnesis and Disney’s Life with Derek). She is also an ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages, a global organization that helps abandoned and orphaned siblings stay united as families. A young mother of three, Martinez calls the SOS mission “a cause close to my heart.”