May 31 – Jazz with Gabriela Martina

Gabriela Martina

May 31, 2019 | 7:30pm

John and Christina Markey Performance Center
7 Washington Street
Malden, Massachusetts

Gabriela Martina performs selections from her latest project, Homage to Grämlis, a deeply personal project that tells the story of Martina’s upbringing on a beautiful dairy farm in Switzerland. It includes traditional Swiss yodel sounds, cow bells, accordion and alphorn fused with all the musical influences (Gospel/R’n’B/Soul/Jazz etc) she has been exposed to during her 10 years of living as a freelance musician here in the United States. Martina sings a delightful mixture of Swiss yodeling, R&B, funk, and jazz. She weaves story with passion for home and humanity, hinting of bucolic farms of Switzerland but with an edge of urban sophistication. Martina is a humanitarian who is passionate about learning about other cultures, helping to develop a sense for community, and fighting inequality and racism.

Martina will be joined by her band: Kyle Miles (bass), Ben Rosenblum (accordion), Maxim Lubarsky (piano), Vancil Cooper (drums), and Jussi Reijonen (fretted and fretless guitar). Nadia Washington (vocals) and Gus Sebring (on alphorn) will also join the band for this performance. 


$15 Adults
Students & Seniors free

Gabriela Martina is a vocalist, composer and educator. Released in 2016 with a four-star review from DownBeat, her newest album, No White Shoes, represents a major step in the singer’s sojourn as a 21st-century musician. Martina had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with heavyweights like Meshell Ndegeocello, Jack DeJohnette, and Angelique Kidjo. She recorded with veteran drummer J.R. Robinson and was a semi-finalist in the Shure Voice Competition at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival, performing with guitarist Lee Ritenour’s band. Martina released a critically hailed EP in 2010, Curiosity, which included her original song “Ain’t Nobody,” a finalist in the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards in 2012. She sings in four languages (German, English, French, and Spanish) and is currently performing with various groups up and down the East Coast.

Gabriela grew up yodeling with her family and had performances as early as the age of 4. Being raised on a beautiful farm in the heart of Switzerland surrounded by a musical family has influenced her musical path strongly. Martina’s upcoming album Homage to Grämlis, is a tribute to the farm in the Swiss Alps where she was raised. The first video single Song for My Father is now available here. Another new piece, ‘Mother Mary’ was released just recently and touches the ground of her catholic upbringing back home in beautiful Switzerland.

Photographs by Simon Heer

The Band

Maxim Lubarsky

Maxim Lubarsky, Piano

Maxim Lubarsky is a pianist with a rare spectrum of talent and virtuosity. Maxim is equally comfortable performing jazz, classical, and music of Latin America. He is a truly remarkable arranger, composer and performer. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Maxim began his musical career as a classical pianist. When he was seven years old, he began his musical education at the Stolyarsky School of Music, where his father, a member of the piano faculty, was his teacher and mentor. Subsequently, Maxim received a Master’s Degree in Performance, Pedagogy, Classical Ensemble and Accompaniment from the Odessa State Conservatory, where professor Evilina Kovalenko was his private instructor. During his last years in school Maxim acquired a love for jazz music and started his first group “Art Session”, with whom he played numerous venues in the Ukraine and won first place in several competitions including the Krivoy Rog, Dnipropetrovs’k, and Kobanchenko Jazz Festival. In addition to his performances with the “Art Session” Jazz Ensemble, Maxim played numerous solo recitals and performed with the Odessa State Symphony Orchestra. He has also toured with numerous musicians in Israel, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, and the USA. These tours included recordings and CD productions.

Ben Rosenblum, Accordian

Award-winning jazz pianist, composer and accordionist Ben Rosenblum has been described as “mature beyond his years,” (Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility), and as an “impressive talent” (C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz), who “caresses [the music] with the reverence it merits” (Bob Doerschuk, Downbeat Magazine). Ben is based primarily in New York City, and is a graduate of the Columbia-Juilliard program (in 2016). His original music combines his extensive knowledge of the history of jazz with a free-wheeling, modern melodic sensibility and powerful narrative approach to the piano. His profound passion for jazz, swing and world music genres finds expression in his unique fusion of harmonic and rhythmic elements from a wide array of sources, and gives rise to a signature compositional sound and style at once iconoclastic and deeply rooted in such figures as Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly. Ben’s first priority in his composition and in his playing is always narrative – to tell a compelling story with his music, while reaching the hearts of his audience, connecting on an emotional, an intellectual and a spiritual level. Reviewers of his debut album Instead – released in 2017 with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Billy Hart – have been impressed by his musicality and his tasteful playing in light of his immense technical skill. Bob Doerschuk of Downbeat Magazine gave the album four stars, and wrote, “He has the chops to shoot off a few fireworks, … but that doesn’t seem to be a priority when covering sacred material.”

Kyle Miles

Kyle Miles, Bass

Kyle Miles is an electric and acoustic bassist hailing from Boston, MA, now currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. He began his life as a student of music early on, and has since been honing his skills throughout the years with education and life experience. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a humble human being, Kyle has been successfully working as a professional freelance bassist.

Throughout his career, he’s had the honor of sharing musical experiences with a number of artists, among whom include: Marcus Strickland, Keyon Harrold, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Dave, Charles Haynes, José James, Robin Mckelle, Nick Hakim, Deva Mahal, Yasser Tejeda, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Jake Sherman, Gabriela Martina, and many others. These experiences have taken him to stages and festivals all over the world, and he looks forward to continuing the journey.

Jussi Reijonen, Fretted and Fretless Guitar

Born in Rovaniemi, a small town on the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland, fretted/fretless guitarist and oudist Jussi Reijonen is truly the product of a world without frontiers. Having grown up moving back and forth between Finnish Lapland, the Middle East, and East Africa and currently living in Boston MA, USA, Jussi has spent his life soaking up the sounds, scents and shades of Nordic, Middle Eastern, African, and now American culture, all of which are reflected in his music. Reijonen’s original music draws from a wide pool of influences and experiences gathered on a life journey living on four different continents. In both his original compositions and his playing, the open spaces and silences of Northern Finland effortlessly rub shoulders with the maqamat of the Arab world and the rhythmic richness of Africa and India, creating a truly unique and enchanting musical mosaic. Along his path, Jussi has worked as bandleader, sideman, composer or arranger with numerous front row artists, and has performed extensively in the United States at prestigious festivals and venues like Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress, as well as in Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, France, Lebanon and Canada. He has had the honor of working with Jack deJohnette, Dave Weckl, Pepe de Lucía, Javier Limón, David Fiuczynski, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, Arto Tunçboyacıyan, Louis de Mieulle / Matt Garstka (of Animals as Leaders), Hüsnu Şenlendirici and the New York Gypsy All-Stars, Bruno Råberg, The New York Arabic Orchestra, Finnish Idol winner Ari Koivunen, and multi-platinum-selling Finnish-Portuguese vocalist Anna Abreu, among others.

Vancil Cooper

Vancil Cooper, Drums

Vancil Cooper, born in 1989, is a multi-faceted artist. Though widely known as a drummer, he has also made a name for himself as a Musical Director, Producer, Audio Engineer, and Educator. Having grown up in a family of professional/touring musicians, Vancil’s future in music was destiny. He fondly recalls starting off watching older musicians from his mother’s lap in church, and jumping in on the family jam sessions at holiday gatherings. Vancil attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music on a full tuition scholarship. He has made a name for himself in the Boston area and beyond, maintaining a steady studio, gig, & tour schedule year round. Vancil is a passionate student of his craft who is always striving for perfection in his work, and always looking for ways to further develop his own signature sound. Whether he’s providing the foundation on drums, arranging live shows for artists, or producing records, Vancil prides himself on being a “chameleon”; effortlessly weaving through genre’s and making them feel as authentic as possible. Some notable credits include HAMILTON: An American Musical, Queen Latifah, Jon Bellion, Teyana Taylor, Nick Carter (BackstreetBoys), Jordan Knight (NewKidsOnTheBlock), Johnny A (The Yardbirds), Amel Larrieux, Lalah Hathaway, and many more. Outside of music, Vancil presents himself to be wholesome and well-rounded individual. He has been featured in several journals for his views on socio-economic situations occurring in the urban community. He attributes all of his success to God, a supportive family, and believes that diligence, prayer, and humility are the keys to success.