The Jill Martini Soiree is an acoustic Swing ensemble that embraces dark Gypsy melodies, vintage Parisian swing, American jazz, and fiery Latin rhythms. The music is hot, mysterious, emotional and romantic. Once you hear it you can't forget it. It is sophisticated, yet it touches every sensation. It is Gypsy Jazz, and the popularity of this joyous yet melancholy guitar music is growing around the world.
The Soiree brings smokey yet vibrant cocktail swing and exotic gypsy jazz to your event. The Soiree repertoire includes vocal and instrumental standards, swings, tangos, waltzes, bossa novas and romantic ballads - ideal for wine tastings, receptions, dinner, and dancing. The Soiree can perform as a duo, trio, quartet, or full Django/Hot Club style Quintet, with a combination of guitar, violin, upright bass, saxophone, mandolin, and vocals, as required for the event.
The Soiree released their CD "It's The Mood" in 2011, featuring original and classic swing. Their new CD is expected to be released in Summer 2014.
The Soiree performs throughout the Central Coast of California (Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties) regularly, and accepts gigs as far south as San Diego, north to Washington State, with occasional forays to the Northeast United States. Have Swing, will travel!
Jill Martini began as a Spanish Flamenco style guitarist when she was 12 years old. She soon switched to the bass guitar and performed in several rock and roll groups. After her hiatus from the guitar, Jill returned to her acoustic roots by forming the Jill Martini Soiree. She performs the song “Malaguena” from the Flamenco repertoire, although now it swings! She wears her Sicilian heritage proudly by performing “Bella Ciao” as well as folks songs from other countries, gypsy swing, and some American jazz standards.
Gypsy jazz rings a note with lead guitarist Miles Lang, who is the grandson of an Alsatian proto-swing guitarist/bandleader, a Transylvanian chromatic harmonica player, and a Russian gypsy violinist. He learned the fundamentals of music from his mother, a torch singer/pianist. Miles is a multi-instrumentalist with classical training in guitar, mandolin, balalaika, cello, and double (upright) bass. He has been a fixture of the Central Coast music scene for over 25 years, and is a sought after sideman for a variety of projects. However, he calls the Soiree his musical home.
Jill Martini (rhythm guitar, lead vocals),
Miles Lang (guitar, mandolin, cello, ukulele, balalaika, tinker's bass),
Mike Velasquez (upright bass),
Lauren Donahue (violin),
RJ Root (guitar, mandolin)