Texas songwriter John Arthur Martinez returns to the Flathead Valley July 29 for a free show that aims to help raise funds and awareness for North Valley Music School’s capital campaign to build a new school.
The event, held from 5-8 p.m. at Haskill Creek Farms near Whitefish, supports the school’s “Be Instrumental” campaign. The $6.5 million campaign finances a new school at Smith Fields in Whitefish, providing more square footage than the school’s existing home on Spokane Ave. while improving the quality of performance and instruction space.
The project has been in the works for more than a decade. According to a story in the Flathead Beacon, the capital campaign had raised $4.2 million by July 1, and the school hopes to add the final $2.3 million this year.
The evening also coincides with North Valley Music School’s 25th anniversary, and includes food trucks, dessert and local beer and wine. wine from Water’s Edge Winery, food from Rebel Roots, and ice cream from Farm to Table,
Martinez is a frequent summer visitor to the Flathead, courtesy of Don K Subaru and Singer & Simpson Productions. On this trip, he’ll perform with Kurt Baumer on the fiddle and Luiz Coutinho de Souza on percussion.
Martinez has performed his blend of Americana and Hill Country swing from the Sixth Street clubs in his birthplace of Austin to the Alpine festivals in Switzerland, and from music venues in Paris to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
He’s celebrating the release of Three White Spanish Horses, his 15th album of original music. It debuts this year on the heels of his 14th, For the Love of Western Swing (And Other Love Songs) which was awarded Western Swing Song of the Year honors in 2020 by The Academy of Western Artists.
His songs have been covered by many independent artists and a couple of major acts, including Flaco Jimenez and Alan Jackson, who each covered his “Seguro Que Hell Yes.”
Martinez first caught the national spotlight competing on “Nashville Star,” where he wound up beating Miranda Lambert for second place. A recording contract and Grand Ole Opry debut followed, along with appearances internationally on stages shared with artists including Elton John, Dwight Yoakam, Jack Ingram, Asleep at the Wheel, Texas Tornados and Keith Urban.Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel calls him “one of the great Texas singer-songwriters. Having seen him perform as a solo artist and with his band, it’s evident that this guy is the real thing.”
In addition to his performance at Haskill Creek Farms, Martinez will also perform Thursday evening, July 27, at Iron Horse Golf Club in Whitefish, and Sunday morning, July 30, at Schafer’s Restaurant at Eagle Bend in Bigfork.
Learn more about North Valley Music School’s capital campaign online.