It was about 4 years ago when I first chanced upon Martin's Video on YouTube. Accompanying the gorgeous Ms. Crisha Ledesma, they performed a cover of the Barbara Streisand hit song from the musical Sunset Boulevard, As if We Never Said Goodbye.
I practically raped the replay button and hoped that someday I would meet that amazing Virtuoso.
As fate has brought it, I finally got to see Martin at the Makati Shangri-La lobby and mustered the courage to introduce myself. Surprisingly, he knew me. So we sat down and the rest as they say was history.
Check out what happened one week after our meeting.
MARTIN TAN AVILA
LOUNGE PIANIST, RECORDING ARTIST & ACCOMPANIST
Martin Avila is the Philippines' premier lounge pianist. He started playing the piano at the age of 4 and played professionally at 13. Martin has a Bachelor of Music in Piano and Composition degree from the University of the Philippines College of Music, graduating in 1987. During college days at the U.P., Martin's mentors included Ryan Cayabyab in Theory and Composition and Prof. Carolyn Kleiner Cheng in Piano whom Martin owes most of his piano playing techniques and interpretation.
Martin Avila has 4 instrumental albums on CD's and cassettes under Ivory Records currently available in all record bars nationwide.
Martin has been playing professionally for almost 40 years. In several of Manila’s 5-star hotels he is seen playing solo in the daytime and accompanying on the piano the loveliest lounge singers in the evening. For special events, Martin also performs with a Jazz Band.
Martin has performed with several of the country's celebrity singers and has had multiple TV guestings. Some of these notable personalities include Bert and Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Teresa Loyzaga, Dulce, Jinky Llamanzares, Nyoy Volante, Bituin Escalante, Anna Fegi, Calvin Millado, Faith Cuneta, Rannie and Lance Raymundo, Janet Basco, Dessa, Carlo Orosa, Michael Williams, Pat Castillo, Sitti Navarro, Leo Valdez, Monique Wison, and Lani Misalucha.
If one would listen to Martin's playing, one will hear the melody part singing just like what a singer does, in piano version, with phrasing and profound tonal quality of the melody line. Martin also interprets on piano the sounds of different musical instruments such as drums, bass, brasses, strings and many more that's why his piano music sounds complete, big, just like a band or orchestra.