Marti Mendenhall is a magnetic, engaging performer, whose live shows are hip, entertaining and original. Mendenhall's Contemporary Jazz-Pop appeal and stellar vocal improvisations captivate audiences with the passion of Jazz and the singability of Pop. Compared to Michael Bublé, Sophie Milman and Sara Bareilles, she sings both jazz standards and a catalog of original songs at her high-energy shows. Mendenhall is quickly gaining regional momentum as a Jazz teacher, adjudicator, songwriter and performer. Marti Mendenhall is “a rare cross-over songwriter and an outstanding entertainer!”
Marti artfully combines her training in vocal performance, classical piano, and vocal improvisation with a new and fresh take in the world of jazz-pop. Her lyrics are especially moving, with songs like Words Last, written for a friend while she was in hospice care, and Never Too Late, written for a 79 year-old bachelor and his bride. The overall theme of the new album, View From Here, is perspective, from the exhilaration of love, happiness and hope, to the depths of loss with a track called Rain.
This new album puts Marti in the spotlight as Producer, Arranger and Composer, and also features her soaring, crystal-clear soprano voice on lead vocals. She is backed by Todd Strait on drums and percussion (Karrin Allyson, Mike Metheny), Dave Captein on bass (Tom Grant, Nu Shooz), and Dustin Hunley on keys.
Over the past several years, Marti has built a solid reputation on social media, including tweeting about the music business, behind-the-scenes information, social media and other music via Twitter, #pdxjazzsinger. She regularly post information and articles on her highly popular Facebook Page. Mendenhall is also beginning to showcase her writing talent on her New Music Blog.
SUS-4 at Disney World: Marti in green, with friends Mitos, Jenny & Jackie.
With early mentor and jazz
pianist, Skip Wilkins.
After Hours, just after co-creating "Brasilia" with Joey Herbert (L-R: Monika, Marti, Kevin, Joey, Wendy)
October 2011 Benefit Concert
Singer Songwriter Mendenhall is an Oregon native and holds a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from University of Northern Colorado. She has had recent performances at Portland 5 and The Bite of Oregon. She has headlined and served as a clinician at both the 'Boise State' and 'Jazz in Jacoby' Jazz Festivals, has published arrangements with UNC Jazz Press, and lists other highlighted performances at Jimmy Mak's, Ivories Jazz Lounge, Tony Starlight's Supper Club & Mazza's Club. She has also performed the LIVE benefit concert that gave birth to her debut CD: “An Evening of Live Jazz”, presented her Master Class and Vocal Improvisation workshop at National and Pacific Northwest venues, and was a regular soloist for the renowned Oregon Repertory Singers for over 17 years.
Mike Horsfall says, “Marti is a musician par excellence, with a superbly trained voice that can do almost anything she asks of it.” . With a degree in Voice Performance, her strongest influences come from both classic and contemporary artists, like Ella Fitzgerald, Jamie Cullum, Karrin Allyson, Nancy King, Charlie Parker and Mel Torme.
Mendenhall's debut album, “An Evening of Live Jazz”, features George Mitchell on keys, Todd Strait on percussion and Scott Steed on bass. The CD features four original compositions and eight jazz standards marked with Mendenhall’s own arrangements. Audio engineer, Steve Branson (Chick Corea, Robert Cray), artfully captured the live feeling of the concert to the CD with no over- dubs or re-mixing in the studio. One original arrangement of Mendenhall’s combines two spooky tunes “Sarah's Theme - Come Little Children” and “Hushabye Mountain” into a hauntingly performed song titled “Sarah's Hushabye”. In this ethereal song, Mendenhall's vocals soar to high C's and Steed's deep strings, simultaneously weaving soothe and charm in perfect harmony with the theme of the concert. Two of Mendenhall's original compositions, “Believe” and “Book of Love” resonate with heartfelt passion, with melodies that have a wide-appeal and a crossover style. While her original tune Brasilia, (co-written with Joey Herbert, UNC Jazz Press) reminds us that the core of this singer is made of pure jazz and explains why jazz choirs choose the song for competitions and performances to this day.
Marti Mendenhall keeps expanding her talents into new projects and compositions, finding the rhythm to keep her music fresh and content relevant for listeners to enjoy.
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