Laura-Simone Martin is making her mark nationally on the string bass.
A junior at Lawrence High School, Laura was set to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California, on Sept. 26 with the 2021 Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo, a national competition featuring six students – one on each instrument.
Her talent also landed her a coveted spot in the 2021 Vail Workshop, a national competition where only 12 high school students were selected – two per instrument. These students performed during the exclusive Vail Jazz Party as hosted by the Vail Jazz Festival in Vail, Colorado, this past August.
Laura has grown up surrounded by music. She would often sing with her mother, Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin, in church.
As a fifth grader at Lawrence Intermediate School, she was inspired to learn to play the string bass when she saw a video of Esperanza Spalding playing string bass and singing at The White House. That was the first time she ever saw a Black woman playing the bass, or anyone singing while playing a bass.
She was a 2020 National Association for Music Education (NAFME) All-National Honor Jazz Ensemble and was selected as the jazz alternate musician for the Carnegie Hall 2020-21 National Youth Orchestra (NYO) Jazz Orchestra.
She was a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra from 2018-21, and currently performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra in New York City.
Closer to home, Laura is a member of the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey (YOCJ) since 2016 and currently plays with the top ensemble Symphonic Orchestra.
For the 2021-22 academic school year Laura has been invited to join the Princeton University Creative Large Ensemble under the direction of Grammy-nominated composer and director Darcy James Argue.
In concert with her musical and community activities, Laura is a straight-A Honors student, and is very active at Lawrence High School. For the 2020-21 school year, Laura played with the LHS Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, served as secretary of the sophomore class, vice president of the Students for Social Activism club, historian for the Tri-M Music Honors Society, a member of the Green Action Club, and a varsity basketball player.
She founded the LHS Black Student Union and continues to serve as president.
She was also the 2021 LHS Cardinal Award Recipient.
- This information was provided by Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin.