Marta Topferova

Marta Topferova


Marta composes and performs beautifully lyrical songs rooted in folk music from Latin America such as the Venezuelan vals, the Argentinean zamba and cueca. The elegance and maturity of her voice surpass her years and she accompanies herself with the four-string cuatro & a superb all-acoustic group.


Marta started singing at age eight in her native Prague, Czech Republic with the Mládí choir. Upon moving to the US in 1987, she continued her vocal and music studies with The Seattle Girls' Choir. At an early age, she sang in many languages including Latin, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Finnish and Czech, as well as a wide range of works by Brahms, Hayden, Poulanc and Pergolesi to name a few.
She toured Germany and Finland participating in choral festivals in 1985, 1986 and 1990. Her first two recordings were a collection of songs inspired by children's poetry from the Terezín concentration camp, and A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Brittain, both with The Seattle Girls' Choir.
But Marta's first encounter with Latin American music goes back to when she was six years old, she remembers her favorite album being Inti-Illimani's songs from the Andes. Her parents, both actors, had gotten the record from a Chilean friend that had come to live in Czechoslovakia in the 1970's.
So around age fifteen, when she started developing as a soloist, exploring her own style and direction as a singer, she was again completely drawn to music from Spain, Cuba and South America. She was particularly inspired by Camaron De La Isla, Paco De Lucia, Mercedes Sosa, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Joao Gilberto, A.C. Jobim, Vinicius Da Moraes, Ornella Vanoni, Guillermo Portabales, Eliades Ochoa, Benny More, Los Compadres and Simon Diaz.
Continuing in her musical calling, she first majored in music and dance at Bard College from 1992 to 1993. Afterwards, she moved to Moron de la Frontera, Spain, to study privately and further develop as a musician. She took up playing the guitar, hand percussion and now most recently, her favorite accompanying instrument, the four-string cuatro.
Her love and dedication to Latin American music as well as the folklore of Czechoslovakia, makes her a unique artist who sings in and is fluent in both Czech and Spanish.
After spending two years in Spain and the Czech Republic, she settled in New York City in 1996 and since then has been actively composing, arranging and performing her original songs as well as collaborating with other groups including Lucia Pulido and Fiesta De Tambores, Los Acustilocos, Flamenco Latino among others.
Marta has performed in many venues in New York City including Joe's Pub, The Blue Note, SOB's, The United Nations and across the United States in venues such as Scullers in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum Of Art, Jazz Alley in Seattle and The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. She's participated in festivals such as The World Music Festival in Chicago, Tanglewood Jazz Festival and internationally at the London Jazz Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Vienna Jazz Festival, The New Morning in Paris, Bim Huis in Amsterdam, Birdland in Vienna, Notorious Jazz Club in Buenos Aires, Jazz Royale Festival in Thailand, Centro Cultural De La Villa in Madrid and many other venues in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. She has also been featured on many television and radio programs in the US including BBC's "The World" and NPR's "Around Noon", in Spain (TV/Radio 3), Colombia (Radio W), Mexico (Fiestas Patrias), Argentina ( Radio Palermo), France (ARTE TV) and the Czech Republic (Radio Proglas, Nova & Prima TV).
Her four releases to date are: Flor Nocturna (2006 World Village), La Marea (2005 World Village), Sueno Verde (2003 Circular Moves), Homage to Homeland (2002 self-produced).


Semana Azul

Written By: Marta Topferova

La ciudad ya se calló
Y el aire se llenó
De una bruma de jazmín,
Trompetas de azul
Se despertó la noche

La calle se iluminó
Y el parque oscureció
El apuro se alivió en los pasos
Y voló una garza blanca
Pa’ acordarme de tí

Con la noche se subió
La luna y escondió
Mi alegría y renació
Mi añoranza
Mi alma violeta está

Y ya el charco se llenó
De la lluvia que cayó
Y otra vez refleja en paz
Todo alrededor
Ramas y cielo
Y mi desconsuelo

La ciudad ya se calló
Y el aire se llenó
De una bruma de jazmín,
Trompetas de azul
Se despertó la noche

Y con la noche regresó
La luna y enseñó
En su rostro que entendió
Mi añoranza
Y mandó una garza blanca
Pa’ acordarme de tí

English translation:

"Blue Week"

The city has quieted down
And the air has been filled
With a jasmine haze and trumpets of blue
The night has awakened

The street has light up
And the park gotten dark
And the rushing has alleviated in the steps
And a white heron flew
To remind me of you

With the night
The moon rose and hid my joy
And my longing was reborn
My soul is purple

And now the pond has been filled
With the rain that has fallen
And once again reflects peacefully
Everything around
Branches and sky
And my sorrow

The city has quieted down
And the air has been filled
With a jasmine haze and trumpets of blue
The night has awakened

And with the night
The moon returned
And showed in it’s face
That it understood my longing
And sent a white heron
To remind me of you


Flor Nocturna (2006 World Village)
La Marea (2005 World Village)
Sueno Verde (2003 Circular Moves)
Homage to Homeland (2002 self-produced)
Women of the World Acoustic (Putumayo 2007)

Set List

1. Las Luciernagas (Marta Topferova)
2. La Amapola (Marta Topferova)
3. Semana Azul (Marta Topferova)
4. Flor Nocturna (Marta Topferova)
5. La Gaita Ajena (Marta Topferova)
6. Koulelo se, koulelo (Czech folk song)
7. Entre a mi pago sin golpear (R. Trullenque & C. Carabajal)
8. Zamba Gris (Marta Topferova)
9. Aguacero de Mayo (traditional Colombian porro)
10. Dia Lluvioso (Marta Topferova)
11. Pasaje del Olvido (Simon Diaz)
12. Los Hermanos (Atahualpa Yupanqui)
13. Corazon Manchado (Marta Topferova)

We usually perform one set of 75 minutes or two sets of about 50 minutes, depending on the venue.