Martynas Revitalizes The Accordion On His Self-Titled Debut Album, To Be Released January 7, 2014 on Decca/Universal Music Classics
21-CITY U.S. TOUR WITH DAVID GARRETT KICKS OFF JANUARY 10TH IN ST. LOUIS
Dubbed one of the “great artists of tomorrow” by BBC Music Magazine
“Squeezeboxes have never been regarded as the route to mainstream success, but Martynas is changing that” The Evening Standard
“Martynas’ subtle control of dynamics and lyrical line… is certainly impressive” The Times (UK)
A recent graduate of London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music, 22-year-old Martynas brings the accordion to fresh life with his self-titled debut album, out January 7, 2014 on Decca/Universal Music Classics. Already a #1 chart-topping release in the UK, Martynas’ album runs the gamut of genres including pop covers, tango, classics and beyond, all highlighting the accordionist’s virtuosic playing and dynamic range.
“Yes, I want to change the image of the accordion,” Martynas explains, “but I’m also trying to show all the different possibilities I have as a performer. All the arrangements are brand new and the pieces have never been played this way before. It’s exciting for me to be breaking some rules.” The accordion holds a signature sound associated with so many cultures – South American tangos, Eastern European gypsy music, German folk and French street music to name a few. On his debut album, Martynas bridges these worlds together for one cohesive exploration of everything the accordion has to offer.
Martynas’ album reflects the breadth of the young artist’s own musical taste, which is broad and defies categorization. On the classical side, Martynas tackles such iconic selections as Habanera from Carmen, Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Gardel’s Por una cabeza (an Argentine classic heard in the hit film Scent of a Woman), featuring violinist David Garrett. Martynas will join Garrett for an extensive, 21-city U.S. tour, kicking off January 10th in St. Louis, with additional dates running through January and again in March (complete itinerary below).
Highlights from the album in the pop vein include new arrangements of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and Katy Perry’s “Hot N’ Cold,” “Ai Se Eu Te Pego (Nossa Nossa),” a rousing Brazilian party anthem, featuring Martynas on vocals, and Tom Waits’s “Temptation,” a seductive, jazzy interpretation featuring Bria Skonberg on trumpet and vocals, along with additional vocals by Martynas. Skonberg recently landed on Downbeat Magazine’s Rising Stars Critic’s Poll for 2013.
Martynas was three when he first picked up the accordion and hasn’t stopped playing since. As a child, he was infatuated with the piano, but with his family unable to afford buying him one, he turned to the accordion instead and never looked back. At age eight, he was enrolled in formal lessons, and years later went on to win awards in various competitions around Europe and later the U.S., including 2009’s top prize at the American Accordionist Association Competition in Memphis and 2010’s second prize at the Gala-Rini International Competition in California. In 2010 while studying at the Royal Academy of Music, Martynas won “Lithuania’s Got Talent” in his native country, becoming a household name there. He officially signed his first record deal with Universal Music Group’s Decca label earlier this year, making headlines in the UK for being the first accordion player to ever top their classical album chart.
1/10 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theater
1/12 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland
1/14 – Dallas, TX – AT&T PAC – Winspear Opera House
1/15 – Houston, TX – Wortham Center – Cullen Theater
1/18 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
1/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
1/21 – San Jose, CA – San Jose Civic Auditorium
1/22 – Sacramento, CA – Crest Theater
1/23 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove
1/26 – San Diego, CA – Balboa Theatre
1/28 – Mexico City – Auditorio Nacional
3/12 – Minneapolis, MN – State Theater
3/14 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
3/15 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theater (2 shows at 3:00pm & 8:00pm)
3/18 & 3/19 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
3/21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Benedum Center
3/22 – Wallingford, CT – Oakdale Teatre
3/23 – Worcester, MA – Hanover Theatre
3/27 – Atlanta, GA – Woodruff Arts Center –Symphony Hall
3/28 – St Petersburg, FL – Palladium Theater
3/30 – Coral Springs, FL – Coral Springs Center for the Arts