No pointless exercise in showmanship. Each tune seems to tell a story.
– All About Jazz
“A guitar virtuoso with a playful experimentation” (Music Zeitgeist), Martin Simon writes instrumental music with “subtle artistry and fragile emotions” (Jazz Corner)... read more about Martin here >>
Martin’s favorite way to make music…
SLAVICADA: Central European Folk meets Jazz
Martin’s most popular compositions played by a Central European folk-jazz band.
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LATIN JAZZ: This music is in my “blood”
Why I love Latin jazz and flamenco and how I hear it. Astro Project brings to life some of my best musical memories.
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About Martin Simon
“A guitar virtuoso with a playful experimentation” (Music Zeitgeist), Martin Simon writes instrumental music with “subtle artistry and fragile emotions” (Jazz Corner).
Guitarist and composer Martin Simon is best known for connecting contemporary jazz with classical and ethnic influences. Pursuing his passion for experimentation he often transforms simple motives into extended musical forms, infused with polyrhythms and spontaneous improvisation.
After spending years in New York City, the Slovakia-born guitarist Martin Simon has presented his work as a bandleader and a composer at various venues including Festival Transversal de Madrid in Spain, International Society for Improvised Music in Chicago, Festival de Jazz Centroeuropeo, the Presidential Palace of Poland, 25th anniversary of Polish Senate, 4-Trust Visegrad Project, Dynamic Visegrad Ceremony, Slovak Cultural Institute, Multicultural Festival Galicja, EU parliament celebration in Warsaw, among others. His Suita Slavicada has become a flagship repertoire of Slavicada Quartet and premiered at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Poetry.
He has performed with musicians from different parts of the world like David Watson (John Zorn), Paul Steven Ray (Vernon Reid), Salim Washington (Kenny Garrett, Anthony Braxton), Chris Bacas (Buddy Rich), Jorge Amorim (Baden Powell, Al Foster), Arturo Martinez (Jose Greco), Alfonso Cid (Pilar Rioja), Carlos Hayre among others.
Having, at the time, a strong bond with the New York’s Latin American and Flamenco scene, he recorded an acoustic guitar album Collage in a duet with a Honduran-Spanish guitarist Astor Escoto — described by MusikReviews as “one of the best contemporary world guitar albums of the decade”. In 2011 his composition Vision of Seven Keystones was nominated among the semi-finalists in the instrumental category of the American International Songwriting Competition /ISC/.
Martin Simon was first recognized in 1996 at the New Faces of Slovak Jazz national young jazz competition, wining the main prize for original music as a bandleader of a jazz-fusion group Jazzva. The National Slovak Radio recorded and broadcasted live performace of his Conversational Music concept featured in “Jazz under Pyramid” longest-running jazz series.
After receiving a travel grant he moved to New York to further his music training. He was a member of the New York Mandolin Orchestra and BC Electro-acoustic Music Ensemble. He collaborated with award-winning film and visual artists such as Miroslaw Rogala, John J.A. Jannone, Ronaldo Kiel, Anat Inbar, and SangHee Ann. He is a co-author of several music/multimedia theatre works including Bridge to You, Blackbox, Melting Away, Little Pictures and others.
Martin graduated with a Master degree from Brooklyn College, where he studied composition, performance and interactive media arts under mentors who included Tania Leon, Douglas Cohen, Noah Creshevsky, George Brunner, Amnon Wolman, Miroslaw Rogala, John J.A. Jannone and others. He has been a university instructor at Pratt institute in New York specializing in the areas of composition and audio production for film and animation. He has coached dozen guitar players and developed curriculum for various workshops and courses. He was invited to the International Conference for Improvised Music (ISIM) along with artists like Oliver Lake, Art Lande, Mazen Kerbaj, Stephen Nachmanovitch, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Zerang, Anto Pett, AACM and others. His work was published by the University Press of America.
We are transferred to a different dimension of time and place
Pardon To Tu
Concert showing the “Slavic soul”
[Simon’s guitar album] Collage might very well be one of the best contemporary world guitar albums of the decade
One of the best shows we’ve hosted
El Paza Jazz Club, Madrid
Exciting and engaging with great moments of improvised music
Timeless, thought-provoking, with world-class production
Los Angeles Music Zeitgeist
Each part blends together with grace and eloquence
All About Jazz
An emotional range like that is very impressive
Art of leaving listeners spellbound