Jim Martinez


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. In this trilogy, some of Jim's musical guests have included Lionel Hampton, Carla Cook, and many others. Jim's recordings are available through his own music label, Invisible Touch Music and can be found online at: www.jimmartinez.com.

Martinez now appears with his own Jazz groups for outreach and/or fundraiser concerts at churches nationwide, from the Crystal Cathedral & Saddleback Church in Southern California to St. Peters Church in NYC.

While in High School, Martinez spent 4 years as the pianist for the St. Philamene's Church Adult Choir. Jim then spent 10 years as pianist for the Youth Choir at Fair Oaks Presbyterian. It was there that Jim answered the call to follow Jesus Christ.

Martinez received eighteen years of classical training, most of those years under his Ukrainian teacher, Yuriy Oliynyk. Jim won numerous awards that include the Camellia Symphony and the Chico Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competitions, the Music Teacher's Association Junior Bach Festival (two times), just to name a few.

Jim recently sold his company, Invisible Touch Music Software, which was founded in 1989. The company arranged and recorded MIDI files (music on floppy disks) for all digital and acoustic player-pianos. One of the highlights was a three year agreement giving exclusive international distribution rights to Warner Brothers Publications.

Martinez is the Minister of Music at River Valley Church in Rancho Cordova, CA. He is a recording artist for PianoDisc Player Systems, QRS Music, as well as a Kawai Pianos Artist.

Jim lives in Rocklin, CA (near Sacramento) with his wife, Suzy, and two sons, James and Benjamin. ***

"Last night, we went to a church in Carmel where a guy named Jim Martinez was playing very contemporary jazz versions of religious hymns. They were great."
Clint Eastwood

"I have just listened to "Amazing Grace" with the 5/4 beat and thought that it worked
quite well. Your playing and all the musicians, including your vocalist, sound wonderful."
Dave Brubeck, Wilton, CT

"How refreshing. You are great...good chords, good time, good taste! I thank God
for you, your talent and your commitment to spread the good news of the gospel."
Ralph Carmichael, Newbury Park, CA

"Jim Martinez is another pioneer in bringing jazz back into the church!"
David Arivett, CJA Network Founder

On these recordings many musicians have been featured, including Lionel Hampton, Carla Cook, and Ed Thigpen. Jim's other recordings are available through his own music label, Invisible Touch Music and can be found online at : www.jimmartinez.com        

Straight Ahead Jazz Standards



                             Holy, Holy, Holy             

                             Eagles Wings               



            They'll Know We Are Christians                    

Lord Be Glorified      

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