José Luiz Martins is a Brazilian pianist, composer and producer from São Paulo – Brazil currently living in Washington DC. He has been recording and performing as a sideman and as a leader for over a decade.
He studied classical piano at Escola Municipal de Música de São Paulo under the guidance of the teachers: Renato Figueiredo and Marisa Lacorte, and classical composition with Ricardo Rizek. He was also awarded two full scholarships to do his master’s degree. One in Basel Switzerland at the JazzCampus and he also received a elite merit based scholarship at Queen’s College in New York.
He has performed at major music festivals in Brazil, such as Jazz na Fábrica (SESC Pompéia), Santos Jazz Festival, Mimo Festival (Olinda), Festival Painel Instrumental, Festival SESC Jazz and Blues, Festival Jazz a La Calle (Uruguay), among others. He has also played in recitals in tribute to the great Brazilian composers such as Gilberto Mendes, Osvaldo Lacerda, Alberto Nepumuceno and Camargo Guarnieri (having performed the premiere of the Preludio e Fuga of Camargo Guarnieri at Sala do Conservatório - SP).
Since moving to the US in 2019, he has played at world renowned festivals such as the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Northampton Jazz Festival and HillFest as well as venues all over the east coast such as Blues Alley, Strathmore AMP, The Kennedy Center and Rockwood Music Hall.
José Luiz Martins also has performed in many venues and festival all over Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, Brussels, France, Czech Republic, Italy, and Switzerland.
José Luiz Martins also is an experienced educator who has worked with students of different levels and ages all across the globe.
His three albums as a leader brought him important prizes and received amazing reviews of specialized criticism. He has also recorded 10 albums as a sideman, some of which he also produced. His new record “Reflections” released in March 2023 received high criticism and was released with shows in the DC area with his US band, Dana Hawkins, Romeir Mendez and Alex Hamburger.
“The star of this album (Reflections) is clearly José Luiz Martins. He and his piano are the whole package, and all extra additions are just frills and sparkles that decorate his amazing talent.” Dee Dee McNeil, Musical Memoirs
“With Amanhã, pianist José Luiz Martins brings an interesting and surprising album that fascinates from the first till the last note. It shows there’s still hope for jazz in the future. He’s a gifted composer as well as a talented performer.” By Kees Schoof .