•New York based-, Colombian born Hector Martignon has composed, orchestrated, produced, performed and recorded music in a wide spectrum of genres, from Classical and Crossover, to Jazz and World Music, to Rock and Pop. His five albums as a leader, two as co-leader (MOZART’s BLUE FANTASIES and BACH’s SECRET FILES) as well as his work on over a hundred albums, scores for five feature films, three Broadway Musicals and multiple other projects, showcase his wide-ranging area of expertise.

After several nominations as a sideman, two of his five solo CDs were nominated for a GRAMMY Award (REFUGEE, 2008, and SECOND CHANCE, 2010) . He arranged and performed parts of the score of Ang Lee’s OSCAR-nominated movie EAT, DRINK, MAN, WOMAN.

His first professional recording was at age 18 (Mikis Theodorakis’s “Canto General”) while one of the most recent was on legendary rock band CHICAGO’s latest production, the Latin-tinged “EXITOS”.

He has written symphonic orchestrations, performed and recorded by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and compositions like ABRE LOS OJOS, CIERRA LOS OJOS, commissioned and premiered by the MUSICA DE CAMARA STRING ORCHESTRA at St Patrick’s Cathedral in April 2011. Hector is currently working on a first CD with his BANDAGRANDE Big Band + String Quartet as well as an album with selections out of a series of  7 solo piano recitals at the Ludwigsburg University of Education (Germany), where he conducts a “compact seminar” on Classic Music-based improvisation every November.

As a requested sideman he has toured the world with such greats as Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Gato Barbieri, Steve Turre, Don Byron, Tito Puente and was featured pianist with Max Roach’s PROJECT AMERICA at the 92 St Y.

His joy of teaching has made him a requested guest-lecturer and performance teacher in music faculties and academies in several countries of Europe, Japan, North- and South America. Hector wrote an instructional book on Latin piano commissioned and published by Hal Leonard, the SALSA PIANO BOOK.

• Martignon’s abilities as a pianist have always been enriched by his interest in varied musical genres. He paid for his studies of classical piano and composition at the prestigious Freiburger Musikhochschule in Germany by performing with the best Afro-Cuban and Brazilian bands of Europe, backing stars like Celia Cruz and Ismael Quintana on their European tours, and recording with Tata Güiness and Arturo Sandoval. At the same time he was attending seminars of contemporary composition with masters like Gyorgi Ligetti, Luigi Nono and Karl Heinz Stockhausen. He also performed classical music in recitals and concerts in Germany, Italy and his native Colombia, specializing in Chopin, Bach and Debussy.

One of his latest endeavors has been a Jazz-Classical crossover  project, co-lead with star virtuoso trumpeter Joe Burgstaller, in which the music of the classics, from Bach to Ellington is re-created in a chamber-jazz setting, to be enjoyed on their two releases, “Mozart’s Blue Fantasies” and “Bach’s Secret Files”.

Living in Brazil for a one-year love affair with that country and its music, Martignon soon became a requested studio musician and worked for star producer Carlinhos Brown.
Since relocating to New York City, Martignon has been one of the most sought-after pianists on the Latin jazz scene. He’s toured North and South America, Europe, and Asia with the bands of Mongo Santamaría, Gato Barbieri, Steve Turre and Don Byron, who had him record in his latest CD. He was featured pianist with the bands of Tito Puente, Mario Bauzá, Chico O’Farrill, Paquito D’Rivera, and Max Roach in his “Project America.”
Most notably, Martignon was pianist for the late Ray Barretto’s various ensembles. During his eight-year association with Barretto, his contributions as pianist, arranger, and composer were fundamental in shaping the sound of the now famous New World Spirit Sextet.

One of his last collaborations with Barretto, “My Summertime,” was a favorite nominee for a Grammy award.
Martignon’s versatility has also made him extremely active in the film and television industries. Besides playing all piano parts, he arranged and produced many parts of the score for the Oscar-nominated film “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” by Ang Lee and performed the piano and keyboard parts for many movie scores (i.e., “Gloria”, “Relativity”). He is composer of the original music of two feature films, one of which, “Septimo Cielo”, won international awards. He also collaborated in the production of many Broadway musicals (“Chronicle of a Death Foretold”, Paul Simon’s “The Capeman”, “Selena Forever”) as conductor, arranger, and co-composer.
In the fall of 2003 Hector visited Slovenia and Russia to collaborate with singer-songwriter Vitaly Osmsçko’s first symphonic CD . The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra recorded in Moscow the orchestrations written by Hector.

As a composer, producer and arranger of TV and radio music his record is no less impressive. In 2001 he landed two spots for HBO Latino, and one for Coca Cola.

In 1998 Martignon performed with his quartet “Foreign Affair”at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s famed annual festival “The Next Wave” on a triple bill with Tito Puente’s “Top Percussion” and Don Byron’s “Music for six Musicians”. This proved to be a turning point for him and his ensemble, which evolved from the strictly acoustic trio sound of the first two CDs to a more eclectic and electric quartet sound. The new configuration that evolved from that memorable concert started a series of concerts and recordings, with guitarist Mark Whitfield, Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona and Cuban drummer Horacio “Negro” Hernández.
This quartet performed and recorded live during a weeklong stint at New York’s famous Birdland. The group has also performed on BET television festivals, at jazz clubs in Manhattan, and made various appearances in clubs and open-air festivals in his native Colombia and in Europe.
Martignon’s third solo project, to be released in the fall of 2003, is not only a reflection of the group’s new musical direction but also of his interaction with other world class musicians. Eddie Gomez, Jeff Watts, Mathew Garrison, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, Willard Dyson have all made their unique contribution to this, Martignon’s new sound of Jazz.
Martignon never fails to surprise, challenge and delight us. Stay tuned and get involved in this affair.


Snow_Owl_NormasAustria-based contrabass guitar virtuoso Juan Garcia Herreros released his band, Snow Owl‘s second CD, Normas, for the Inner Circle label with Hector on piano. It has received raving reviews in Europe and the US.


Hector plays piano and Fender Rhodes and wrote one of the cuts in this, Mongo nephew Roberto Santamaria’s first solo album, featuring an all-star band including Joe Gallardo and Michael Phillip Mossman.


Invited featured guest pianist with Tommy Igoe’s BIRDLAND BIG BAND, “Eleven”, performing on Michel Camilo’s explosive and aptly titled On Fire.

This is the second release of Hector’s latest project, along with trumpet virtuoso, Joe Burgstaller. Together they lead the Burgstaller-Martignon 4 ensemble, performing classical compositions from Bach to Ravel with Jazz and Latin Jazz arrangements. They toured Europe in the Fall of 2010 to great acclaim.

One of the world’s most famous bands, Chicago, decided to release his all-time hits arranged with latin rhythms and called some of New York’s best Latin musicians to record  this CD, Exitos. Hector plays piano and accordion in 4 of the tracks.

Silvestre Martínez, a virtuoso percussionist and composer from Oaxaca, residing in San Francisco, released his debut album, Heritage, in 2010. Hector playedpiano in most of the tunes and arranged the famous folklore song, El Feo

Hector performed the piano and produced Colombian guitarrist Nelson Riveros’ NelsonCdcritically acclaimed first solo album, featuring some of the best musicians from New York, Cuba, Colombia and Puerto Rico, Camino al Barrio.

Second Chance (Soho Music)
 in this 2010 Grammy nominated CD, the group explores a collection of new Martignon compositions that allow him to reflect on second chances in his life. A funky swagger leads the group into a catchy melody with a bluesy edge from Perez and Collins on “Second Chance,” while the rhythm section quiets. Perez attacks the mellow funk of the rhythm section with a slew of jazz melodies, connecting each one together with a logical progression.

BURGSTALLER-MARTIGNON-4 MOZART’S BLUE FANTASIES Besides being the pianist and co-leader, Hector arranged most of the music for this spectacular crossover CD, with music by Mozart, Chopin, Piazzola, Ellington and Bowling. The CD imediately hit the JAZZ-CHARTS

Johnny Ray, EL DE LA RUMBA SOY YO In a rare SALSA-relapse, Hector plays accordion on “La Maquina” which became an instant hit

Eddie Alen, SALONGO Hector plays the piano on Jazz Trumpet Virtuoso Eddie Allen’s first release, which has won national and international praise.

Gabriela Anders, BOSSA BELEZA Hector was invited guest on four of the tracks of

this JVC Japan release from Argentinian star-vocalist, Gabriela Anders.Very original versions of some Brazilian Standards and gabriela’s compositions.

Candido, LIVE IN NEW YORK-MIAMI Hector plays piano on the tracks recorded live in New York. Beautiful VINTAGE playing by one of the greats, CANDIDO!

Hector Martignon, REFUGéE Nominated for the 2008 Grammy AWARD for best Latin Jazz AlbumHector’s latest release (ZOHO RECORDS) featuring four of the best bassists of the world ( Eddie Gomez, Richard Bona, John Benitez and Matthew Garrison) plus four of the best drummers (Jeff “Tain” Watts, Willard Dyson, Horacio “Negro” Hernandez and Dafnis Prieto) along with great invited guests (Kenny Barron, Mark Whitfield, Sammy Figueroa, Edgardo Miranda, Roberto Quintero, Samuel Torres and others) all in this, FOREIGN AFFAIR’s latest collection of original compositions and arrangements of beautiful standards.

Samuel Torres, SKIN TONES Hector performs the piano in this amazing first solo release by virtuoso percussionist from Colombia, Samuel Torres. He also wrote the cut Observatorio, beautifully sung by Julia Dollison.

Vitaly Osmaçko,  SVETLOBA V ZITU Arrangements and Orchestrations written by Hector Martignon for Russian singer-songwriter’s first symphonic project. Hector recorded with the rhythm section in Ljubljana, Slowenia and then flew to Moscow to record the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. The CD has been released in the Slowenian and Russian languages.

Julia Dolison, OBSERVATORY Hector composed the title track, OBSERVATORIO. Julie wrote the English Lyrics

Foreign Affair (CCD-79746) Hector MartignonWith Satoshi Takeishi on drums and Jairo Moreno on Bass) on the Candid label, features guest stars Ruben Blades, Randy Brecker, Don Byron, Luis Bonilla and Donny McCaslin. It features mostly original tunes but also some awsome arrangements of standards like My One And Only Love and brazilian pop classic La Propuesta masterfully sung by Ruben Blades. Most striking is the treatment given to prelude #8 in E flat minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. This CD was chosen in JAZZIZ magazine one of 10 best of the year by critic Mark Holston.

Gabriela Anders, ECLECTICA Hector was invited guest on five of the tracks of this release from Argentinian star-vocalist, Gabriela Anders.

Don Byron, YOU ARE #6 After having toured extensively with the band, Hector was invited to perform keyboards on some of the tracks of this amazing album.

Gabriela Anders, LATINA Hector was invited guest on four of the tracks of this release by Argentinian star-vocalist, Gabriela Anders.He also wrote some of the arrangements.

Monday Michiru 4 SEASONSAs invited guest, Hector plays the piano on four of the tracks of Toshiko Akiyoshi’s and Charlie Mariano’s incredibly talented daughte MONDAY’s first CD.

Hector’s first solo CD, Portrait in White and Black (CCD-79727) Hector Martignon’Portrait in White and Black’ was repeatedly praised as  “…the year’s best …”,(Jazztimes) “…among the best…” and so on. Along with Hector’s trio, with Satoshi Takeishi (drums) and Jairo Moreno (bass) the album features the great Ray Barretto on congas, vocalist Gabriela Anders, Manolo Badrena on percussion, Donny McCaslin on sax, Luis Bonilla on trombone and Cidinho Texeira on accordion.

Paul Peress, AWAKENING Beautiful CD in a slighly “Smooth Jazz” vein, featuring stars like James Genus, Gabriela Anders and Mark Whitfield. Check out Hector’s arrangements for the Beatles’ NORWEGIAN WOODS, Herbie Hancock’s BUTTERFLY and his own composition, NEW MORNING MAMBO.

Fantasía (ALCB-3171) Gabriela Anders Gabriela Anders’ first two solo projects, under the name of ‘Beleza’, were produced by Hector Martignon for the Japanese Alfa/Samson label. All the tunes were arranged by Hector except ‘Fantasia’, arranged by Marteen (who was mistakenly credited for the arrangements of ‘Fire of Love’, ‘Say it One More Time’ and ‘Fuego de Amor’, which Marteen co-produced).

The first of two ‘Beleza’ CDs by argentinian singer Gabriela Anders. Produced by Hector Martignon (except the tunes ‘Forever’ and ‘Cold Ice’, produced by Marteen) this CD as well as her next ‘Fantasia’ diplay a special taste for a mostly accoustic treatment of vocal-jazz material, away from all the effects and synth-sweeteners all too easily abused for when ideas are of short suply.

Eat, Dream, Man, Woman () Ang LeeFor the sound-track of this OSCAR nominated feature film, composer Mader combined the original chinese music style and instrumentation with traditional cuban son and mambo. Flutist Sara Planck and Hector were in charge of arranging and producing the cuban part of the score. Apart from the virtuoso chinese musicians, most of the musicians were members of the original Son de la Loma, the best and most authentic cuban band in the New York area. Independently from the movie, the CD became a hit in Taiwan prompting the production of a dance book to learn the steps and dance along to the peculiar mambos and sons, the melodies of which were played in part with chinese instruments.

Ray Barretto, MY SUMMERTIME (OWL-082-835830-2) This, conga-master Ray Barretto’s first Blue Note release, recieved the best of all reviews so far of all his CDs with New World Spirit. Hector played piano and arranged the tunes ‘No Hay Problema’ and his own composition, ‘Fait Accompli’. Nominated for the Grammy this CD should definitely have won it! It is the last CD recorded by Hector with Barretto before leaving the band.

Luis Bonilla, ESCUCHA Besides playing the piano on most of the tracks, Hector wrote two of the tunes . Trombone virtuoso, Luis Bonilla shows here why he is one of the best!

Ray Barretto, TABOO Hector played for eight straight years in all the different bands of the great late Ray Barretto, recording six of his best albums. He compose two tracks on this one and arranged three more. including the title track, TABOO.

Ray Barretto, ANCESTRAL MESSAGES Hector played for eight straight years in all the different bands of the great late Ray Barretto, recording six of his best albums. He compose two tracks on this one and arranged three more. including the title track, ANCESTRAL MESSAGES.

Ray Barretto, HANDPRINTS Hector played for eight straight years in all the different bands of the great late Ray Barretto, recording six of his best albums. This is his first one with NEW WORLD SPIRIT Band. Wrote two tracks.

Soy Dichoso (JM 666) Ray Barretto‘s very last Salsa record . One of the last Fania productions alltogether, it preserves the original sound of authentic Salsa of the ’60’s and ’70s. Hector plays half of the cuts and transformed the beautiful ballad Talvez by Cuba’s Juan Formel, into a Salsa hit through a modern, though respectful arrangement.

Lucia (01-0139-02139) LUCIA The first recording to appear under the newly created label of Colombian superstar Carlos Vives, Gaira. It features a blend of colombian folcklore with a New York state of Jazz. Hector was in charge of producing the CD, but also arranged and played piano and B2 organ in all the tunes except one featuring Valery Naranjo on marimba. Lucia is one of the best voices coming out of Colombia lately.

Descarga Boricua, ABRAZATE Hector was special guest in this session by the foremost all-star puertorican band, Descarga Boricua. It was an acclaimed CD that year.

Angelo Y su Tumbao Moderno (cd51052) EXTASIS Y DOLOR NYC‘s best musicians perform in this salsa classic in the best 80’s style. Rafi Irizarri, William Cepeda, Edy Montalvo, Tony Barrero, John Walsh are just some of the talents involved in this project produced by Hector.

Cruz Control (evarc41CD) CRUZ CONTROL Hector arranged a beautiful bolero medley for this, one of the hottest salsa bands in NYC. He also was invited to play the piano in that cut.

Irazu (pcd-159) MAMBO INN – Irazú, PURO SABOR Tata Güines is the engine pulling the infernal rhythm machine providing the foundation of this extraordinary CD. Even if (or rather because?) recorded in Europe by a Europe-based band , its heat and the performances by cuban stars Güines and Sandoval made it the talk of town for a long while in Havanna. The colombian Rhythm of Cumbia used in Hector’s composition.

Conexión Latina(enja CD 5023) UN POCO LOCO After having played in many get-together bands to back up salsa singers on tour in Europe, Hector was asked tp play steady in Europe’s best salsa band so far, Conexión Latina.Hector’s participation in this band involved not only playing piano but also arranging and singing back-up vocals. This great CD features Benny Baily on trumpet and Joe Gallardo on trombon. It’s real salsa with arrangements provided by some of the best arrangers of the period: Luis Garcia, Oscar Hernandez, Edy Martinez.

Sunrise Orchesta, MALATA SUITE Ghanaese master drummer Kofi Misizo was invited by german musician Brünninng von Alten to perform, tour and record with his band Sunrise Orchesta. It is pure african Jazz!

Canto General Recorded when Hector was just 18 years old this was his first recording experience. After touring Germany with a 120 piece choir and orchesta, while studying classical piano there, Hector met Greek conductor and composer Mikis Theodorakis who urged the group to record parts of his epic composition Canto General. Unfortunately this recording is almost impossible to get.


Since before its release in June 2016 The Big Band Theory has earned raving reviews in a variety of specialized publications, both online and on paper, with

DOWNBEAT giving it a rare 4.5 stars review. in its September issue and listing it among the year 2016 BEST ALBUMS .

JAZZIZ also published a great review by Mark Holston in its Fall 2016 issue.


JAZZ and BLUES eview


LATINO MAG raved about The Big Band Theory in this review

Raul Da Gama, of the LATIN JAZZ NETWORK made it “Pick Of The Month” (June 2016) in this review


Since before its release in June 2016 The Big Band Theory has earned raving reviews in a variety of specialized publications, both online and on paper, with

DOWNBEAT giving it a rare 4.5 stars review. in its September issue and listing it among the year 2016 BEST ALBUMS .

JAZZIZ also published a great review by Mark Holston in its Fall 2016 issue.


JAZZ and BLUES eview


LATINO MAG raved about The Big Band Theory in this review

Raul Da Gama, of the LATIN JAZZ NETWORK made it “Pick Of The Month” (June 2016) in this review

FOREIGN AFFAIR Quartet at the Roxy Bar (Roxy Hotel Atrium), Saturday, December 11th 2021, 8-10:30pm

After a beautiful early afternoon performance last Sunday, we are back, this Saturday, December 11th, this time in the heat of the night (8-10:30pm), at the Roxy Bar, the majestic atrium of the fabulous Roxy Hotel at the heart of Tribeca (2 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013): the Foreign Affair Quartet, with Gabriel Vivas (contrabass), Samuel Torres (multi-percussion), Christos Rafalides (vibraphone) and your truly on piano, playing our Grammy-nominated brand of Latin, Brazilian and World Jazz, with original arrangements and compositions….