Venezuela-born, New York City-raised, Barbara Martinez is a flamenco dancer and singer with serious chops. The Philadelphia Inquirer called her sounds "achingly beautiful" and The New York Times said she makes "something fresh of the Latino style." Martinez has danced with the Metropolitan Opera in shows like Carmen and La Traviata, and now this passionate performer comes to the stage at The Highline Ballroom Settle in with a beverage and food from the full Brunch menu and get ready for an intimate Show of Brazilian jazz and flamenco.
I'm Barbara Martinez and I grew up in New York City singing in opera and musical theater. I was born in Venezuela, although my mother and her side of the family is from Argentina. I guess have inherited the love for music, theater and art from my family. My grandmother and her aunt made long careers for themselves as singer/actresses in Argentina, and my father is a sculptor in Venezuela. When I returned to New York after college at Brown U, I fell in love with flamenco, although my mother claims i was dancing as a child in the kitchen! I travel to Spain every year and brought back all the learning and all the magic of those hours spent with my idols and friends. For many years I focused on the dancing (el baile), and studis intensely with New York pillars like La Conja and La Meira, working and learning on the job at Jorge Navarro's original tablao, Alegrias back when it was on on Bedford Street and 7th. I worked with dance companies like Andrea del Conte Danza Espana. Then I returned to my alma mater, The Met Opera, where I had sung for many years as a child, but this time as a gypsy dancer in Carmen and La Traviata.
You can see flamenco almost every night in New York City, at Alegrias at La Nacional, for example on Saturdays and Andanada for flamenco brunch on Sundays, and numerous other daily venues where my collegues also perform. For more about my grandmother, Morenita Rey, click here. And for more about her aunt, Libertad Lamarque, see Wikipedia.
"The haunting voice of Barbara Martinez seems to be the secret force that binds the dancers entirely to the shifts in melody, volume, mood." -NYTheater.com
"The high point for me was the vocalist Barbara Martinez. She is a charming presence on stage." -Theater Online
"Barbara Martinez, of the serene disposition and the elegantly pleasing lines." -Urgent Artist
"Barbara Martinez is considered one of the most important representatives of flamenco." -El Universal