Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, pianist and composer Marta Sánchez is actively working in the contemporary creative music scene in New York City and around the globe. Charting a significant path through her innovative and original music, she has reached an international audience, gaining significant global recognition.
After finishing her classical training at the Conservatory, she began her academic training in jazz and contemporary music at School of Music Populart, earning a grant from A.I.E. (Spanish Association of Musicians.) The first band she created, Zafari Project, was selected by the Spanish agency for youth (INJUVE) as one of the most promising on the Spanish scene, giving them the opportunity to tour Spain playing in different jazz festivals. This band also won first prize at the international jazz contest Debajazz, which is not the only jazz contest Ms. Sánchez won. She also was awarded the first prize at the Jazzargia International Jazz Contest with the Javier Moreno Trio and the first prize at San Martin de la Vega Jazz contest with Natalia Calderon Quartet. She is the only musician in Spain who has been selected on three occasions by AECID (government agency for international development cooperation) to represent Spain at jazz festivals in different countries around South America, Central America and Europe; with her own band on two occasions (2009, 2012) and with the Natalia Calderon Quartet (2009). In 2010, she received the “A.I.E en Ruta” Touring Grant from the Spanish Association of Musicians. In 2011, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed her to continue her studies at New York University (M.M.). During her time there, she went on an international tour in Costa Rica, where her group represented NYU at the famed Costa Rica Jazz Festival.
As a bandleader, she is currently working with her New York based Quintet with respected saxophonists Chris Cheek and Roman Filiu; with her band Room Tales, featuring singer Sara Serpa, and with the Quartet Open Can, featuring Ralph Alessi, Michael Formanek and Mark Ferber. She is involved in many other music projects as a collaborator, performer, and/or studio musician in the United States and abroad.
Marta’s main project, her quintet, was created soon after she moved to New York, and since then has released three albums: “Partenika” (2015), “Danza Imposible” (2017), and “El Rayo de Luz” (2019) all with the Spanish label Fresh Sound. All of the albums received high praise from American press. ”Partenika” received great reviews from The New York Times, Downbeat, All Music, All About Jazz, and many more. Not only that, but the recording was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 best albums of 2015, including all genres, and it was also included on the lists of the best recordings of the year from the Jazz Journalist Association, Downbeat and All Music. The quintet’s next work, “Danza Imposible” was reviewed and highly praised in the famous public radio program “Fresh Air”, it got 4 stars from DownBeat, an excellent review from The New York TImes, on Nate Chinen’s program at WBGO, and it was also included in some lists of the best of 2017. “El Rayo de Luz” was also included in the The New York Times list of the Best 10 jazz albums of 2019, it was the editor’s pick of the December issue of Downbeat, got a four stars review also in Downbeat from Giovanni Russonello, it was featured on WBGO’s program “The Checkout” and a long etc. and After “Danza Imposible”, Marta’s music has been the subject of articles in publications including Jazziz and The New York Times. The New York Times highlighted Marta as an example in a year full of great projects led by women. Downbeat also interviewed her after her last release.
She also released for Errabal Records: “La Espiral Amarilla” (2011) and Lunas, Soles y Elefantes (2008) and the work 49 Riiiing with D’Free Qi thanks to a grant by “Caja de Burgos”. As a sideman she has collaborated in many other CDs like “Hazel” with the Wing Walker Orquestra, “Matterhorn” with John Blevins, “Carry My Heart” with Indra Rios (Impulse Records), “Deluxe” with Crooked Trio, “Mediterraciones” and “Satierismos”, both with the Afrodisian Orchestra, “Lineas Paralelas” with the Talento Big Band, “Songs from my heart”, with Doris Cales, and “Flor Azul” with Natalia Calderon Quartet among others.
She has toured the United States, Europe, South America, and Central America, performing as a leader or as a sideman at prestigious venues and prominent festivals such as North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Eurojazz in Mexico City, Eurojazz in Athens, Jazz Festival Vitoria Gasteiz, Winter Jazz Festival in New York, festivals in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Antigua, Guatemala, Festival de Jazz de Atenas, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago de Chile, and Madrid Jazz Festival, Castellón, Lleida, Málaga, including many others. In the United States she has performed at some of the most prestigious clubs including the Blue Note, Birdland, Jazz Gallery, 55 Bar, The Cell Theater, Cornelia Street Cafe, Blue Whale, among many others. She has toured on the West Coast, Michigan, Maine, Maryland and Connecticut.
She received prizes for the best soundtrack for short film in the festivals Alcalá de Henares, Curtficcion in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca.
In 2017 she received the prestigious grant for a residency from the MacDowell Colony, where Marta wrote prepared piano repertoire.