This past weekend, I attended a concert by a beautiful Mexican singer for a friend’s birthday (at the Winter Garden Theatre). Though I had never heard of Amanda Martinez prior to this night, the prospect of hanging out with the girls and deviating from the typical Saturday night routine, was quite welcome. Little did I know I’d be a new fan at the end of the night.
I should probably mention that I don’t speak Spanish, not a word (ok, maybe eight or nine words). However, since I like being open to new experiences and embracing what it really means to be Canadian, this was not outside the norm for me (I found out later, by the way, that Amanda is also part South African, Jewish, and Canadian – cool).
The concert began with the entrancing sound of a saxophone, drawing everyone in and
commanding the silence it rightfully deserved. “I can already tell I’m gonna love this,” my friend gloated three seconds into the opening – we were silent after that, I promise. Soon after, with the trail of her elegant dress behind her, Amanda walked on stage and illuminated the room with her voice. For the next two hours we were glued to our seats, enjoying music, dancing, special guests and tributes to various people who were inspirational in her path to success – not missing a single thank you.
At one point during the night, I looked over at the row of friends I was with (some older friends, some who I just met), and it struck me – none of us understood the lyrics (I wasn’t alone after all). We all smiled, clapped, cheered, danced in our seats; in more ways than one, we were moved by the music, but did not understand a word. Such is the power of music, drawing us in to something beyond lyrics, beyond words.
Now don’t get me wrong, it certainly did help that Amanda addressed the audience and included a prelude to every song in English (which speaks to her allure and charm), but when she sang, her music and voice spoke for itself.
After the show, my friends and I were excited to meet Amanda at the chic and elegant Jazz Bistro, where she also celebrated her birthday. Beautiful, modest, vivacious, personable, looking at her you would never know she is also a mother to three young children, (a set of two-year-old twins and a five-year-old). “My family and my children inspire me,” she responded when I last asked about what drives her music.
It was a truly memorable night.
Amanda is an ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages, a global organization that helps abandoned and orphaned siblings stay united as families. She calls the SOS mission “a cause close to my heart.”
Here is a short clip about Amanda Martinez: