"I've played in
"Thank God I was not born here," she would respond.
For the past 14 years, Martinez -- a 30-something
"The cello kind of called me," she said during a recent visit to
Martinez has toured with
She also has played with a group of other musicians at The Bitter End in
"I've played with a lot of musicians. That's one of the perks," Martinez said. "Every time I step on stage, I think how blessed I am."
So blessed that her
"Analissa was not boastful about her very real talent and often flew under the radar in
Fountain taught Martinez cello from the time she was 7 through her graduation from
"When it came to her music, she was passionate and dedicated. I found special pleasure in the fact that she absorbed what I taught her very thoroughly, but at the final performance it was always distinctly her own music making," Fountain said.
"Though she has now been in
Martinez, the youngest of six, started playing cello at
"I still practice a lot every day. It's continuous development, always ongoing, more like an athlete," Martinez said. "Everything I do is to become a better musician. If you're not willing to have that level of commitment, then you should revisit what really moves you."
While still in high school, Martinez was accepted four times as a student in the annual Festival de MÚsica de CÁmara in
"She's been a great source of joy and pride at our school because she's gone on to a much higher level of playing," Gilliland said. "She's very giving. It's been remarkable to point to her as a role model."
She arrived in
Instead, Martinez quickly landed a job in a music shop in Midtown just behind Carnegie Hall. She performed her first gig at Carnegie Hall four years later.
These days, playing at venues like the prestigious Carnegie Hall simply comes with the territory for Martinez.
She freelances as a Spanish interpreter, plays with two orchestras on a regular basis, does chamber music, and hangs out with a community of friends who play whenever they can. Her fiance is a rock musician who lives in
"As a musician, she's focused, determined, hard-working and deeply caring for the beauty of sound and the way she communicates this with her partners and the audience," Yaneva said. "Playing with her ... feels as easy as a friendly conversation. She's excited to explore new ideas and always eager to share her own."
Yaneva described Martinez as "one of the few people in this busy city who makes the time to sight-read music just for the sheer fun of it." She credited her friend and music partner with creating a still-functioning community orchestra in
"Analissa ... thrives successfully in the atmosphere of
So, the girl who never believed her hands were too small to make music, keeps dreaming. She keeps shooting for perfection.
"I cannot stop being a musician," she said. "I will always play a musical instrument as long as I can."
RamÓn RenterÍa may be reached at 546-6146.
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