Through her long performing career Barbara has met and shared the stage with some of the best jazz players. The Barbara Martin Trio adds guitar or piano and bass. The Quartet adds guitar or piano, bass and drums.
“a songwriter with an unexpected gift for sultry melody and a singer with a penchant for smoldering seduction.” Geoffrey Himes, Howard County Sun, Baltimore.
Chosen as one of ten recent releases by worthy jazz singers by Alexander Gelfand, Jazziz Magazine.
"Women in Blues and Jazz", is a program about the music, life and times of American women blues and jazz artists from the 1920's through the 50's, including Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, as well as women instrumentalists. The show offers songs from the careers of these influential women, anecdotes about their lives and an overview of how jazz evolved from the blues melodically, harmonically and rhythmically. This is an educational and entertaining program for women’s history month at universities, colleges, high schools and seniors programs.
"She is carrying the torch of Ida Cox, Bessie Smith and Sippie Wallace and beautifully evokes their styles into her own compositions." Blues Rag, Baltimore Blues Society
Barbara also offers vocal workshops.
Relaxed, intimate and warm, an evening with Barbara and Mac combines blues and jazz of the 20’s and 30’s with heartfelt and humorous original songs. The songs of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, among others, bring the traditional roots of blues and jazz alive.
Barbara Martin and Mac Walter’s music is a rich stew of earthy blues peppered with sassy, swinging jazz. Their performances are rooted in a healthy respect for the traditions of American music from Josh White to Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday. Martin’s sultry, soulful voice combined with the bending, sliding strings of guitar wizard Mac Walter captivate audiences.
Baltimore guitarist, Mac Walter, began his musical career at 16 when Marianne Price, formerly with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, convinced him to give up the ukulele and try the guitar. Three months later Mac was playing in Marianne’s band and has not put the guitar down since. Over a 35 year career Mac has studied with guitar greats Roy Buchanan, John Knowles and Woody Mann. He has performed with Danny Gatton and Deanna Bogart, touring the United States and Europe. Claiming influences from Wes Montgomery to Django Reinhardt to Frank Zappa, Mac is “a master of the acoustic guitar” Portfolio Magazine.
Swingin’ into the Season
Barbara and Mac present seasonal favorites spiced with jazz and blues for the holiday season from their Tis the Season recording. Light-hearted secular sing-alongs are combined with original compositions that explore the meaning of the season from its ancient roots.
Barbara and Mac also offer guitar and blues and jazz workshops
“…his solo run through ‘There Will Never Be Another You’ would put a smile on Charlie Byrd’s face.” Jim Newsom, Portfolio Magazine
“Walter especially stands out with his gypsy-swing leads and his punchy swing chords.” Geoffrey Himes, Baltimore Sun
"Their many-faceted skills glisten in all directions. There were chuckles, sly humor, tenderness, ironic jest and cutting insight in her lyrics. Their between-songs patter was just right to help us know them. Here and there her playing and singing provoked him into glittering dexterity. The diversity of her intense vocal vitality grew and amazed us. Near the end, you could see how much they gently honor each other. It's a human touch that takes us beyond the music to an awareness of fine entertainment. The audience loved it." Clarke Times-Courier, Berryville, VA January 24, 2008
“Barbara and Mac put out wonderful music that crosses genres and appeals to a wide audience.” Patrick Golden, Williamsburg Regional Library and Arts Center
“A simply amazing duo.” Jim Taggart, Blue Rose Acoustic Society
“…a very cool performance. Barbara is a great blues singer. Mac’s guitar playing was fantastic. He is a very subtle player in the fact that he would play a smoking lead and then fall into really great sounding jazz chords without missing a beat. A ‘don’t miss’ if we are ever lucky enoughto get them back to Charlotte.” Charlotte Blues Society, Bluesletter
“Barbara Martin and Mac Walter perform with a professionalism and energy that is sorely missing in many blues artists today. Their sets always take the audience by surprise and keep them captivated from beginning to end. Virtuoso guitar playing and stellar vocals are only the beginning of the prize with this duo.” Steve McWilliams, Talent Coordinator, Columbia Pikes Blues Festival
“Barbara and Mac provided a marvelously entertaining start to our seventh season of Folk at the Cannery concerts. They connected quickly and completely with our audience and kept them enthralled the entire evening. It was wonderful to see and hear these two accomplished artists combine their considerable individual talents into a duo performance that was nothing short of superb.” Kelson Slayman, Director, Folk at the Cannery Concerts
An accomplished guitarist, vocalist and award-winning songwriter, Barbara can stand on her own in an intimate setting, mixing her original songs with blues and jazz from the 20's and 30's. She's the real deal; a true renaissance woman in music genres prone to stereotypes and pigeon-holes. Her ability to transition smoothly from chanteuse to girl-next-door to perceptive poet make her delightfully her own woman.