Biography

photo by chris hyson edited red

Emilia Mårtensson is a London based Swedish vocalist and composer of considerable repute. After her three latest album releases Emilia has built a well- deserved reputation as one of the most exciting young vocalists on the UK Jazz scene and she was recently awarded  Vocalist of the Year-2016′ at The Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Her gently expressive voice and highly personal compositions are firmly rooted within the folklore and countryside of her native southern Sweden, adding to the mystique and allure of a distinctive and truly original artist.

Emilia is supported by PRS for music foundation and was recently awarded the ‘Women make music’ funding scheme for her most recent project ‘ELDA Trio’. Elda trio features Brazilian percussion player Adriano Adewale and Slovenian Accordion player Janez Dovc. Their debut album ‘ELDA’ celebrates the beauty and importance of exploring and merging cultures.

She is the featured vocalist in several projects and has been collaborating, both as singer and as a composer, with artists such as Iain Ballamy(Uk), Kit Downs(Uk),Eric Legnini(Fr), Renato Chicco (Slo), Jasper Hoiby (Uk), Rasmus Khilberg (Swe) and Monocled Man, (UK).  Her most acclaimed collaboration led to a MOBO Award with the British group ‘Kairos 4tet’. 

In the past Emilia has also received recognition from The Observer as ‘The new face of British jazz’ in 2012, and in 2013 she was chosen by ‘Svensk Jazz’ for Pulsslags Turnen, which took her on a 2 week long tour around Sweden to promote her album ‘Ana’. Her success as a band leader also led her to be chosen to partake in ‘The Take Five’ Artist Program delivered by national music producers Serious in 2015. 

Emilia is a regular performer at some of Europe’s leading venues and festivals including The London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club,Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Sunset Sunside in Paris, Fasching in Stockholm, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and The Love Supreme Jazz Festival in UK to name just a few.  

Both of her solo albums ‘And so it goes’ (Babel Label-2012’) and ‘Ana’ (Babel Label-2014) got listed in the ‘top ten best albums’ by JazzWise.

Emilia is also a passionate educator and has founded ‘Beyond Vocals’, a platform for new aspiring singers with an interest in Jazz, Folk, Experimental and Improvised music.  She is a regular part of the teaching  faculty of the Sligo Jazz Project,  has delivered workshops for the Ljubljana and Cambridge jazz festivals, and has been running her own highly acclaimed jazz vocal summer course in the beautiful town of Izola , Slovenia for the last 4 years. Read more: www.beyondvocals.info

ALBUMS/PROJECTS:

‘ELDA Trio’ (Two Rivers Records-2016)

Elda trio is a project comprised of Swedish award winning vocalist, Emilia Mårtensson, Slovenian accordion player and multi instrumentalist Janez Dovč and Brazilian percussionist and composer, Adriano Adewale. Elda trio weaves together these three different folkloric cultures exploring the breadth and depth of storytelling and music from each country. What emerges is a fascinating tapestry of musical cultures, featuring both traditional and contemporary musical elements in a unique way.

All three musicians of Elda Trio are virtuosos in their own right and they have all found an original voice on their respective instruments. Their technique, the emotion and the depth of their musicianship are of a very high level. The element of improvisation is a fundamental aspect of Elda Trio’s music. It enables the group to express themselves freely taking into consideration the very moment of the performance as well as making every single concert exciting and unique.

Their debut album ‘ELDA’, (released on London based ‘Two Rivers Records’ in September 2016), is celebrating the beauty and importance of exploring and merging cultures and sharing stories that are universally relatable.

www.eldatrio.com 

Ana’ (Babel Label-2014)

On Emilia’s solo album ‘Ana’, dedicated to her grandparents and named after Emilia’s Slovenian grandmother’s Ana-Emilia, Mårtensson continues to blur the lines between Jazz/Folk and Alt- Pop through her own compositions as well as collaborations with some of the finest writers that London’s music scene has to offer. Personal interpretations of tracks by Paul Simon and Joe Henderson also feature and of course a couple of Swedish Folk songs, one of which Emilia wrote herself.  This album demonstrates Emilia’s constant evolution as both a songwriter and performer, retaining tender poignant tones with powerful observations of human nature through her lyrics. The musicians on the album fully compliment this journey, adding their own magical touches to the heartfelt arrangements. The album was listed as one of the top ten best albums in 2014 by JazzWise.

‘And so it goes…‘ (Babel Label-2012)

Emilia released her debut album ‘And So It Goes…’ on Babel Label. The album is a project between Emilia and pianist Barry Green, which documents the duo’s shared love of a wide range of material, presenting fresh and exciting arrangements of a superb choice of songs.  Drawing on the wistful folk songs of Emilia’s homeland alongside some of the greatest songs of the last century, the recording is a finely poised blend of Jazz, Folk and artful Alternative Pop. The album was listed as one of the top ten best albums in 2012 by JazzWise.

PRESS QUOTES…

Ana again proves that Martensson has something very special to offer, and the album is something of simple beauty. There’s a brilliantly judged and utterly natural sounding balance between duskiness and pure-toned clarity in her voice, but what really impresses is a talent for story-telling within the context of her songs and for drawing the listener in”. -JazzUK

….”A voice of quite remarkable expressive depth” -JAZZWISE

“Exquisitely beautiful songs… Martensson has struck gold.” – JAZZWISE

…”Martensson invest every sound with a skimming, rapturous lightness and clarity”… JF, The Guardian

 …”Ethereal Voice… -Time Out

…”the music is immediately enchanting, bewitching, and approachable…” -AllAboutJazz

‘And so it goes’ could easily turn out to be the best new vocal jazz release of 2012″-Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

“…Another delighted feature is the pearly innocence of Martensson’s voice and pianist Barry Green’s understated warmth.”-The Daily Telegraph

EMILIA Performed at:

The Royal Albert Hall, London

The Barbican Centre, London

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London

The Vortex, London

Pizza Express Dean Street London

Fasching, Stockholm

London Jazz Festival

Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 show

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Bimhuis, Amsterdam

Sunset Sunside Jazz Club,Paris

Vossa Jazz Festival , Norway

Umea Jazz Festival, Sweden

Ystad Jazz Festival , Sweden

Ljubljana Jazz Festival. Slovenia

Salon, Istanbul

to name a few…

 

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