HECTOR MARTIGNON has performed, recorded, composed, produced, and arranged music in myriad styles and genres for his own projects and for top musicians around the world. In order to steal a glimpse into the musical universe of this multitalented artist, one needs only to surrender to the music of his two (and the third coming up) solo CDs, "Portrait in White and Black", "Foreign Affair” and “Refugee" They are a metaphor of the diverse musical influences that have shaped his distinctive style as a performer, composer, and arranger, from Baroque polyphony to 21st century avant-garde, Balkan folklore to afro-cuban and -brazilian idioms.
His first professional recording, completed at the age of 18, was of Mikis Theodorakis's epic orchestral work “Canto General”. Since then he has appeared on hundreds of Jazz, Latin Jazz, and Pop albums in addition to recording two solo albums, with a highly anticipated third release coming out this fall. His most recent project (as performer, arranger, and producer of her upcoming solo CD) was for Warner Brothers contemporary Jazz artist Gabriela Anders.
Martignon's abilities as a pianist have always been enriched by his interest in varied musical genres. He paid for his studies of classical piano and composition at the prestigious Freiburger Musikhochschule in Germany by performing with the best Afro-Cuban and Brazilian bands of Europe. He played for Celia Cruz and Ismael Quintana in their European tours, and recorded with Tata Güiness and Arturo Sandoval.
At the same time he was attending seminars of contemporary composition with masters like Gyorgi Ligeti, Luigi Nono and Karl Heinz Stockhausen. He also performed classical music in recitals and concerts in Germany, Italy and his native Colombia, specializing in Chopin, Bach and Debussy. Living in Brazil for a one-year love affair with that country and its music, Martignon soon became a requested studio musician and worked for star producer Carlinhos Brown.
Since relocating to New York City, Martignon has been one of the most sought-after pianists on the Latin jazz scene. He's toured North and South America, Europe, and Asia with the bands of Mongo Santamaría, Gato Barbieri, Steve Turre and Don Byron, who had him record in his latest CD. He has been featured pianist with the bands of Tito Puente, Mario Bauzá, Chico O’Farrill, Paquito D’Rivera, and Max Roach in his "Project America."
Most notably, Martignon was pianist for Ray Barretto's various ensembles. During his eight-year association with Barretto, his contributions as pianist, arranger, and composer were fundamental in shaping the sound of the now famous New World Spirit Sextet. His last collaboration with Barretto, "My Summertime," was a favorite nominee for a Grammy award.
Martignon's versatility has also made him extremely active in the film and television industries. Besides playing all piano parts, he arranged and produced many parts of the score for the Oscar-nominated film "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman" by Ang Lee and performed the piano and keyboard parts for many movie scores (i.e., "Gloria", "Relativity"). He is composer of the original music of two feature films, one of which, "Septimo Cielo", won international prizes. He also collaborated in the production of many Broadway musicals ("Chronicle of a Death Foretold", Paul Simon's "The Capeman", "Selena Forever") as conductor, arranger, and co-composer.
In the fall of 2003, Hector visited Slovenia and Russia to collaborate with singer-songwriter Vitaly Osmsçko’s first symphonic CD . The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra recorded in Moscow the orchestrations written by Hector.
As a composer, producer and arranger of TV and radio music his record is no less impressive. In 2001 he landed two spots for HBO Latino, and one for Coca Cola.
”Refugee” is Martignon's third solo project, a veritable Latin Jazz All-star recording, to be released by ZOHO in May 2007. It is not only a reflection of the group's new musical direction but also of his interaction with other world class musicians. Eddie Gomez, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Mathew Garrison, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, Willard Dyson have all made their unique contribution to this, Martignon's new sound of Jazz. Martignon never fails to surprise, challenge and delight us. Stay tuned!