New Voice

Classically trained jazz guitarist Peter Martin relocated to Monterey during the pandemic, and teamed up with other local musicians for a regular gig at Pearl Hour.

New York City has a way of calling to every corner of the globe. Though the big city may be a far cry from the coastal lifestyle in Monterey, we can thank transplanted jazz guitarist Peter Barnes Martin for bringing us a taste of it.

For Martin, the dream of performing as a New York City jazz musician was had. “Everyone is 110-percent obsessed with one thing they want to improve in their life,” he says, of life in the Big Apple. This energized him at the time, as he enjoyed playing with artists such as Tony Glausi, Benny Benack III and Hannah Truckenbroad. But then came 2020, when Martin and his fiancée Stephanie Chamberlain’s routines were disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Fortunately, they were able to move in with family away from the city, and Martin was able to teach guitar online.

After Chamberlain was accepted to a teaching program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, the couple embarked on a move to an unfamiliar place – but one with a history of hosting an iconic jazz festival each year. “That reassured me a little,” Martin says, hoping he would find a local music scene.

Wasting no time, Martin was quickly plugged into that scene after moving to Monterey in January 2021, beginning to play at Puma Road Winery in Portola Plaza. Gigs like this allowed him to network with other local jazz musicians, such as Ben Herod and Zach Westfall, who play at Pearl Hour’s jazz nights on Wednesdays and Sundays. Martin also found something bigger in Monterey – his singing voice.

“I didn’t sing on gigs consistently until this point,” he says.

Martin’s voice now showcases simplicity in songs accompanying an indie-jazz melody on his self-produced debut album, Anywhere is Home. For the 26-year-old musician, the album is literally reflective of the many locations he has lived, but also how perspectives change throughout life, making it timeless. An example of this maturity is found in his song “Patience,” which is about being old enough to know what you want, but not having the resources to attain it yet.

Fresh off a tour of the Pacific Northwest, Martin is now celebrating the release of his album locally during the month of May. You can find him performing at the Terrace Hour at Carmel’s Sunset Center at 5:30pm on Friday, May 5. On May 27, Martin will debut the album with a full jazz ensemble at Other Brother Beer Co.

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