Night Lights: A new singer’s in town ...

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Photo by PHYLLIS BATOR // Buy this photo

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Photo by PHYLLIS BATOR // Buy this photo

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Photo by PHYLLIS BATOR // Buy this photo

Christi Martin, the new voice at Marco Polo Restaurant.

Marco Polo Restaurant

30 Marco Lake Drive, Marco

Christi Martin is the new voice at the Marco Polo Restaurant and Marco Island is lucky to have such a great talent added to the entertainment community.

She exudes not only a lovely voice, but a good range giving her the capacity to sing a song in one key and change it to another. Among other traits are her personality, vivaciousness, and the ability to establish a great rapport with her audience.

Singing a variety of songs, she uses an iPod as background music. It is so tiny that unless you see her program her next tune, one might wonder where the music was coming from. The sound it emits is really very good.

I thought the sound in the rear dining room was a bit too low; I really wanted to hear her singing while having dinner.

Martin’s voice is one that is soft when she wants it to be which is how she sings during dinner. But as the evening progressed and people were about to have dessert, Martin’s melodic voice came through those rear speakers and throughout the restaurant.

According to Martin, she has only been on the island for six months. It was through a friend who works at Tara’s Restaurant who told her there was an opening at the Marco Polo. Martin said she checked it out ‘and the rest is history.’

Martin’s been singing all her life but started singing professionally at the age of 12. Her first professional voice teacher, Cathy Ellis, was also a songwriter and recording artist.

“Ellis wrote a song called ‘We the Children of America’ but it was my mother who was really instrumental in the effect the song had on the community,” Martin said. “My Mom called the White House because the sales of the single record was used as a fundraiser for Operation Home Front with all proceeds going to the families of the soldiers who were injured in Desert Storm.

“It was her heart that reached out and Mom wanted to be sure the money was going where it was supposed to. When General Swartzkopff heard about it, he personally called my mother, and the song was broadcast on military radio for the soldiers overseas in the Gulf. It was also played on MTV Video Jukebox.”

That was her first exposure to doing something that built the community and a kind of giving back, she said. She and three of her five sisters that sang on the record as well as Cathy Ellis are all listed on Congressional Record for performing the song.

Music has been a part of her life as far back as Martin can remember. As a child, she was in a Home Schooling Program that included an apprenticeship program where she said a lot of her performance skills come from.

Every year, people from all over the country that were part of the Home Schooling Program held a summit at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Their choir encompassed 15,000 students including Martin. They took up the whole stadium and performed for the visiting families during the summit. Martin said it was a profound experience. The various formed choirs performed all over the world, and Martin performed in Australia and New Zealand with choir groups.

“I love anything having to do with music. I love performing, the production side, singing songs that people have built memories with, songs that inspire. I’ve been inspired by music. It saved my life. Anytime I needed to be encouraged, music really touched me and it doesn’t make any difference as to whether I’m singing in a lounge or in a church or on the radio or a studio. Songs that touch you touch other people,” she said.

Most of her performing has been recording and studio work. She worked for a couple of entertainment companies who did CBS, NBC and ABC Saturday programming and family friendly entertainment.

“I did a lot of songs in the studios for that,” she said. “I didn’t have a chance to perform as often as I would have liked to because I was also working in the marketing and media field. I was a copywriter and a content producer for the Home Shopping Network producing on-line content and on-air content.”

Now that she’s performing at the Marco Polo Restaurant, you can enjoy her performances every Monday and Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. “Come out and see me and have some fun. Tell me what you want to hear,” she said.

For bookings, call 727-418-5292 or email christi_martin@yahoo.com.

Marco Polo Restaurant is located at 30 Marco Lake Drive. For reservations, call 394-5777.

© 2008 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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