Lucia Martinez - I go where the music takes me !

Piotr Wojdat
Autor zdjęcia: 
mat. promocyjne

Is jazz and improvised music popular in Spain?

Lucia Martinez: Jazz is gradually becoming more and more popular in Spain. There are more and more schools, record labels and programmes that support the growing interest. On the other hand, Improvised music or free improvised music is not so popular and is reduced to small scenes motivated and promoted by the artists themselves. There are still no large-scale programmes in the country that "dare" to programme this more "risky" music.

Do you feel as a part of spanish or any other scene?

LM: I go where the music takes me, and in that sense, yes, I am a bit part of the Spanish scene, but in truth, aesthetically and for my musical activity, I think I belong more to the Berlin scene, where I develop most of my projects and where I really feel identified.

How did it happen that your decided to play drums and make your own music?

LM: I started playing hurdy-gurdy and traditional percussion in Galicia, where I was born, and little by little I became interested in other styles, until I studied classical percussion. But really the records I listened to and my artistic interests were in a different kind of music, I was very attracted to jazz and contemporary music. So little by little, and despite the fact that there wasn't much of a jazz movement in Galicia, I found my way. The drums are my main instrument, but I also play the vibraphone and, of course, percussion.

You've got a lot of projects. Let's start with your Cuarteto and The Fearless. What was the idea for this projects?

LM: Lucía Martínez Cuarteto was my first project and it was born in Portugal, where I was studying jazz (2002-2006). Since then we haven't stopped playing together. We have released two albums and we are also friends. We play my music, based on traditional music, let's say with a Galician flavour.

The Fearless is the result of a long process. Let's say it was a project that I've been experimenting with for many years, until the band became a reality in the last few years. We started as a trio, and now we are a sextet. It's a very fun project.


You work with Augsti Fernandez. What have you learned from him? How is he as a musician and as a person?

LM: I've been playing with Agustí for many years. Our first meeting in 2014 resulted in an album Desalambrado and opened a great friendship. He is a person I have always admired very much, for his diverse career and for having known how to take his career towards the music he is passionate about. From him I have learned that from the first note, you have to be concentrated and give the best of yourself. Agustí is serious and responsible, but he is also very funny and above all very intelligent. He has played with many wonderful musicians and that's why I love to talk to him and ask him everything. And he likes to tell me. He is a wonderful person whom I love and appreciate.

I hope you will be more popular in Poland as "Bosque de niebla" have been released by Listen! Foundation. What do you know about our country and our music scene?

LM: Poland has always been a reference for me in modern jazz.

I remember the first time I saw Tomasz Stańko live, I was very impressed. And I also follow young people like Dominik Vania. But if we look at the catalogue of Fundacja Słuchaj the number of musicians and the quality of the catalogue is extraordinary. A country with a very high musical level and a long tradition of jazz.

Moreover, the proximity to Berlin means that I have many friends who are Polish musicians and I have visited the country on numerous occasions.

I have also played in several festivals and it has always been very interesting to meet new musicians, perhaps not so well known abroad, but of a very high artistic quality. I hope I can come back to Poland after COVID!

I think "Bosque de niebla" is a very important album in your career. It can't be described as a typical jazz piano trio. How did it happen that you released an album with Agusti Fernandez and Barry Guy?

LM: In the summer of 2019, Agustí Fernández organised a project in Barcelona: Via Augusta, with musicians from all over the world, in which Barry Guy and I were also involved. I think the idea came from Agustí, as I had been trying to organise this meeting as a trio for a long time. What we did was to meet a few days before in Barcelona and take the opportunity to record as a trio. You can imagine what a joy that was for me: to record an album with two of my favourite musicians. The idea of sending it to Maciej Karlowski was Agustí's, which made me very happy, because I love working with people who are passionate about what they do, and Maciej is like that. From the respect and admiration for the music, to the care for design. I am very happy with this opportunity.

Have you listened to Barry Guy music before you've recorded an album with him? What do you think about this artist?

LM: I am a fan of Barry. I consider him an all-round artist. His knowledge of many styles, his sound and technique of the instrument and his energetic playing make him one of the great European double bass players of today.

What are your plans for the near future? 

LM: I hope that we will be able to release the album live, and that we will be able to play many concerts with this trio.

Besides that, I teach jazz drums at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Seville, and I will continue with my Berlin projects. In the summer we have several concerts with The Fearless. Hopefully everything will improve and we'll be able to return to the stage, which is what gives us the most joy.

Thanks a lot and enjoy our music!