Martin Zarzar: Libre

Martin Zarzar is an accomplished man. Born in Lima, Peru and raised in South America, Europe, and the United States, he currently calls Portland Oregon home. He is a Berklee alumni, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist as a guitarist, percussionist, vocalist, and arranger, and has ten years of collaboration with the acclaimed ensemble Pink Martini. In addition, he has released two albums of solo works, Two Dollars To Ride The Train, and Libre which was released on June 26th of this year. Tonight, August 22, 2013, there will be a CD release concert for that album at the   Alberta Rose Theatra   on 3000 NE Alberta St in Portland OR. The concert begins at 8:00 and you can RSVP via   Facebook and then let Martin know you'll be coming to the show by sending him a tweet.

The show will feature performances by The Brazillionaires, Women Of The World, a guest acrobatic appearance by Pendulum Arial Arts performer Sarah Hardy, and of course Martin Zarzar and friends which include musicians Paul Mazzio, David Evans, Stan Bock, Dan Gaynor, Al Criado, Israel Annoh, Simon Lucas. The evening promises to be a unique and fulfilling multi-cultural musical experience.

The full album of Libre is 15 tracks with 12 original compositions. For copyright reasons the three covers on the album has been left off the bandcamp version below so if you want the full experience, which I highly recommend, you need to purchase the album from Martin's website or in person tonight at the release party. Libre is an album encompassing a broad envelope of the emotional spectrum. There are tracks such as Roots, Misery, and Libre which address the artist's concern for people around the world who struggle with oppressive governments, and in Bed Bugs Martin takes a playful jab at the insect epidemics of New York and Paris as a vehicle to address excess and wealth in juxtaposition to the economic hardship experienced by so many others. In contrast to this, the album has an abundance of rhythm and romance in compositions such as Miss November, You're The One, When You Smile At Me, and the suggestive Sweet Muffin.

Then there are songs like Long Long Ago and Pasacalle which show off Martin's strong capability as a composer and his ability to work with melody and orchestration. In supplement to this is the album's instrumental reprise of the tune Bed Bugs where Martin is heard on guitar, xylophone, melodica, and bass violin. Finally, there are Martin's refreshing interpretations of Petite Fleur from Sydney Bechet, Blue Skies by Irving Berlin, and Quizás, Quizás, Quizás by Osvaldo Farrés. These three performances showcase Martin's musical diversity, background, and education, while remaining musically satisfying to the listener. Libre from Martin Zarzar is a rich and diverse musical travelogue that covers a breadth of emotional and musical material. Martin's uniquely polyphonic abilities and innate melodic sense make this album a must have in 2013.