ARTICLES FROM HAVANA JAZZ FEST NEWS MAG

Translation from Spanish

Doug Martin is passionate about the saxophone even though he burst into the musical world with the trumpet. Years later, after discovering his instrument of choice, he graduated from The Jazz Program of Humber College in Toronto, Canada, studying saxophone, theory and composition. As to his early influences , the musician cites rock-and-roll bands such as Bill Haley and The Comets , Duane Eddy , and Johnny and Hurricanes. Subsequently, he was captivated by the tune “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph, who became one of his primary jazz heros. On one occasion, while listening to a Detroit radio station, it was DJ Le Baron who introduced him to the music of Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Rollins, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Miles Davis. Prepared to absorb everything he could to perfect his career, he soon discovered influences such as John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, and Chet Baker. Two major influences that captivated him were Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz [the album Jazz Samba]. He loved the Getz’s warm lyrical style. Present day, Martin has been musical director of various jazz groups with whom he has toured Canada and The United States. He is a regular participant in the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, where he gives classes and composes, and participates in other festivals in Ontario and Quebec. In his latest album release entitled Odyssey, he demonstrates a high degree of maturity as a jazz composer. Several European radio stations, including Cuban radio, have added him to their play lists. The song “Amsterdam”, from the same album, received honourable mention in the San Francisco West Coast International Composers Competition – in 2012. One year later, his song “Kafka Was Here” became semi-finalist in the category of Jazz/Blues in the prestigious United Kingdom Songwriting Competition. Presently, Doug Martin is working on a jazz-ballet and is composing for both television and cinema. The saxophonist has confessed in previous interviews that he has embraced a certain philosophy of music which guides his playing, his composition, and his teaching. The secret, according to Doug, is in creating an ambience, mood, or emotion that “moves” the listener. Because of this, his work incorporates people or situations as his subject matter of compositions.

 

[Tran. fr. Spanish] Even though it’s not indoors, and though it’s not even remotely close to the Havana clubs or those of New Orleans which are considered jazz havens,  the Gardens of the Mella Theatre provide a venue for such virtuosos as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis every year at the International Jazz Festival Jazz Plaza.

With a major line-up such as this, foreign and Cuban artists share their musical ideas and styles. And they do it in a place where the night sky provides a canopy of stars for their creativity.  In this uncommon environment where nature provides the artwork, musicians and audiences will gather from this Wednesday to Sunday, to enjoy this intense art form which many consider to be a way of life.

Yesterday in fact, Jazz Plaza perpetuated this tradition with a luxurious line-up at its Mella Gardens when saxophonist Doug Martin seduced the audience with his unique way of presenting his witty creativity.  The Canadian was accompanied by the classical rhythm section of the genre:  drums, bass, and piano.  With this he took us down the road of blues and swing, with many well-applauded solos along the way.

Martin gave way to a group from Camagüey, Maracujazz, who, in November, won the International Competition of Young Jazz Artists (JoJazz).  The group, made up of new musicians, some of them students and some of them graduates of the Jose White Conservatory, moved the late evening crowd with their distinctive brand of music-making.