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Jazz band excited to represent at South by Southwest

Pieces of a dream: Troy Washington Sr, Raymond George, Tino Martinez and Torrey Tacklyn of The Tino Martinez Quartet (Photograph courtesy Hayley Morrison)

The Tino Martinez Quartet will be the first Bermudian band to storm South by Southwest.

“It still feels like a dream,” said Raymond George, the band’s keyboardist.

After attending last year’s National Association of Music Merchants convention and learning a thing or two about marketing, Tino Martinez decided to “throw it out there” and send a press kit, pictures and videos of TMQ to SXSW.

“I’ve been trying to get into this festival over fifteen years ago, and we’ve all tried to be a part of it. In December, we got a standby, and not even a month later, we were confirmed,” said Mr Martinez.

The quartet of musicians came together around four years ago.

“It was just a phone call, and the next thing we are here,” said Mr Martinez, who is the band’s saxophone player.

The SXSW music festival takes places from March 11 to 16 in Austin. Approximately 1,200 artists are performing.

The quartet started off as a soul fusion group, and through the years has found itself playing a bit of everything, from hip hop to contemporary pop.

“Jazz is always the centre of what we are doing,” Mr George said.

Troy Washington Sr, the band’s drummer, is excited about the line-up.

“I’m just happy to go represent the country and this where we have taken off to a whole other level and this is the start of some great things,” said Mr Washington, who is originally from Boston.

Torrey Tacklyn, TMQ’s Bermudian bass player, echoes the sentiment.

“Representing my country makes me feel like I’ve done something, like I can give back to and shine a light on what this little island can do, especially with all that talent that is going to be,” he said.

The quartet hopes SXSW is a springboard for success.

Mr Martinez hopes the event will be a “launching pad” for the group to perform at jazz festivals globally.

“Torrey said we are showcasing our original music, our originality, our creativity and the music we have is mind blowing. It’s some good stuff.

“Ray has put in some good work, the guys have put in some good working learning it and putting their touch to it.

“The cool thing about our originals, they are all named after something in Bermuda – so when you see the track list when we do release it, you will be like, city lights, front street,” said Mr Martinez without giving too much away.

The band plan to fly out from Bermuda on March 11 and stay in Austin until March 17. They have set up a GoFundMe to assist with travel and accommodation expenses, which they estimate to cost $10,000 for their trip.

The Tino Martinez Quartet will be performing at SXSW on March 14 from 9pm to 9.40pm at the Elephant Room.

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Published February 16, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated February 16, 2024 at 8:27 am)

Jazz band excited to represent at South by Southwest

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