….”A voice of quite remarkable expressive depth” -JAZZWISE
Emilia Mårtensson is a London based Swedish vocalist and composer of considerable repute. After her four latest album releases, Emilia has built a well-deserved reputation as one of the most exciting vocalists on the UK Jazz scene and she was 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.
Before moving to London to study music at Trinity/Laban, Emilia spent her earlier years in the Swedish countryside immersing herself in the recordings of jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and Anita O’Day.
At the same time, she and a group of local boys were playing live jazz in her parents’ restaurant, which later would transform into a successful jazz club. 'Illstorps Lustgard' hosted established names on the Swedish Jazz Scene and became a great school for Emilia and her younger sister who also sings.
But, for all her jazz background, Swedish folk song was always deep in Emilia’s heart. You can hear it clearly, carved like an ancient rune, in the haunting and ethereal tones of her voice, in the dark melancholy of her storytelling and in the intimate, nocturnal hush of her timeless confessionals. Allied with the jazz musician’s effortless sense of timing and expression, it’s enough to make Mårtensson a very special voice indeed.
Emilia took a leap from the Swedish countryside and her parents Jazz Club and is now a regular performer at some of Europe’s leading venues and festivals and has appeared at The London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Bimhuis,(NL) Sunset Sunside, (FR) Fasching, (SWE), Ljubljana Jazz Festival,(SLO), The Love Supreme Jazz Festival (UK), Rochester Jazz Festival, (New York), The Barbican Centre, (UK), Manchester Jazz Festival, (UK), Untherfahrt Jazz Club (GER), Jazzahead, (GER), Sligo Jazz Festival, (IRL), The ICVT Vocal Conference to name a few.
In the past Emilia has 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. Her success as a bandleader also led her to be chosen to partake in ‘The Take Five’ Artist Program delivered by national music producers Serious in 2015.
Emilia's various projects have been continuously supported by PRS and The British Arts Council. She was awarded 'The Women Make Music' funding scheme by PRSF for her project 'Elda Trio' in 2016 and on numerous occasions received the International Showcase fund which has enabled her to showcase her music at some of the worlds largest music conferences such as 'Jazz Ahead' in Germany and 'Made in The UK' at Rochester Jazz Festival in New York.
Emilia is the featured vocalist in several projects and has been collaborating, both as a singer and as a composer with a range of artists. Her most acclaimed collaboration led to a MOBO Award with the British group ‘Kairos 4tet’. Other collaborations include artists such as Iain Ballamy(Uk), Kit Downs(Uk), Eric Legnini(Fr), Jasper Hoiby (DK), Rory Simmons,(Monocled Man), Chris Hyson, (Snowpoet), Sam Crowe, Native Dancer), Alice Zawadzki, Fini Bearman.
Emilia has aslo in the role as a curator collaborated with Ragnar Bertling at 'Musikcentrum Öst in Stockholm and Oliver Weindling at The Vortex Jazz Club in London in developing 'Jazz Alloy'- A Swedish/Uk music mixer. The project brought ten Swedish artists over to London to collaborate and prepare new music for a performance at the legendary Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston over six months in 2019.
Emilia is the founder of 'Beyond Vocals'- a platform and community for aspiring and experienced singers.
Beyond Vocals provides individual vocal tuition, regular jazz vocal workshops, jazz vocal summer courses, coached recording sessions, regular open mic sessions, and an annual vocal festival in Slovenia.
During the last 10 years, Emilia has facilitated workshops and masterclasses to high profile festivals such as The EFG London Jazz Festival, The Sligo Project, Ljubljana Jazz Festival, and Cambridge Jazz Festival.
Visit www.beyondvocals.info for information about all Beyond Vocals Project including the annual Beyond Vocals Festival in Slovenia, which takes place in September.
LOREDANA (BABEL LABEL 2019)
Emilia's most recent album release ‘Loredana’, explores the adversity and the wilderness of the term mother, celebrating the infinite observations about the ‘mother-child relationship’, and how this can shape us throughout our lives. Initially inspired through four specific questions that Emilia asked her audiences about their relationship to their mothers, her boundary-pushing and original music crosses borders between Scandinavian folk, jazz, and art. pop. The album features guitarist Luca Boscagin, percussionist Adriano Adewale, trumpeter Fulvio Sigurta and bassist Sam Lasserson. Produced by Chris Hyson (Snowpoet).
‘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, 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.
‘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.
The Royal Albert Hall, London
The Barbican Centre, London
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London
The Vortex, London
Pizza Express Dean Street London
London Jazz Festival
Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 show
The Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Cheltenham Jazz Festival
Sunset Sunside Jazz Club,Paris
Vossa Jazz Festival , Norway
Umea Jazz Festival, Sweden
Ystad Jazz Festival , Sweden
Ljubljana Jazz Festival. Slovenia
to name a few…
2009-Kairos Moments-Kairos 4tet (Kairos Records,UK)
2011-Statement of Intent-Kairos 4tet, (Edition Records,UK)
2012-And so it goes...(Babel Label, UK)
2013-Everything we hold-Kairos 4tet, (Edition Records,UK)
2013-Towards the centre of everything (Whirlwind records, UK)
2013-A Thousand Times-EMBLA (self release)
2014-Ana (Babel Label, UK)
2015- Teleport- EMBLA (self release)
2016-Elda-Elda Trio (Two Rivers Records, UK)
2016-We Drift Meridian-Monocled Man
2019- Loredana (Babel Label, UK)
…”Martensson invest every sound with a skimming, rapturous lightness and clarity”… JF, The Guardian
"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
..."It's encouraging to see an artist excel at their genre while successfully dappling in others, and Martensson does just that..." EARMILK
…”Ethereal Voice… -Time Out
..."Each day was filled with a mixture of warmth, practical guidence, discipline and precision, fun, hard work, creative imagination and a lot of humanity-Student Quote
“Exquisitely beautiful songs… Martensson has struck gold.” – JAZZWISE
"With a voice of quite remarkable expressive depth, Emilia Mårtensson makes music in which Swedish folk songs, singer-songwriters and jazz sensibilities are subtly drawn together into a profoundly satisfying whole."-Jazzwise
..."an album that merges their three distinctive cultures into something strikingly original"...Songlines
“It’s the kind of music that gets every sense involved, leaving you with a stupid grin on your face and bringing goosebumps with every climax, which are both inevitably and organically built up to in each song but also somehow catch you by surprise.” LondonJazzNews
“Ana again proves that Martensson has something very special to offer, and the album is something of simple beauty. -JAZZUK
‘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