Renting an apartment and teaching English in Japan, his savings were quickly depleted. Existing on only a huge bag of rice, Bernie had to explore another source of income.
“At the age of ten the musical passion ignited within me.” Both of Bernie’s parents were musically inclined with his father being professionally trained in vocals and music. Bernie would watch him practice and pick up on his skills.
He taught himself to play the bass guitar eventually taking part in the local church band that was led by his father. At seventeen, they built a home recording studio necessitating Bernie’s need to learn many other instruments including synthesizers. He also became proficient in sequencing and producing music for song writers and arranging melodies and music for lyrics including Latin and Hip Hop.
“Now practically starving in Japan, I needed to tap into my musical talents.”
He realized the importance of learning to play a piano, especially if he wanted to perform in a classy lounge. Purchasing a keyboard with 88 key weighted action that simulated a real piano, he began self-teaching and practicing long hours every day.
“After a few months of trying to crack the music scene in Nagoya, there was a breakthrough!” A sports bar named Shooters was holding an open mic night. It was here after a string of events with the rockabilly band “The Fats” that Bernie’s life was about to take an interesting turn. He was approached by a well-known singing artist named Prisca Molotsi who immediately noticed Bernie’s raw talent. She brought him into the music scene by having him sing at popular jazz venues where he was heard by many.
He now continued down the brightening path. One night he was approached by a man managing an entertainment agency. Bernie was offered a contract at The Ritz Carlton Osaka! At the end of this contract, he accepted a gig at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, South Korea. His career took off working in both Japan and South Korea from 2005-2007.
Chatting with a couple during a lounge break at the Hyatt, they suggested that Bernie explore the idea of working on cruise ships. “I went online and found my current agent Michael Suman by sending him a promo pack in Miami, Florida three years ago. He gave me a shot! I owe my ship experience to him!” Bernie has delighted guests on Disney’s Wonder, Royal Caribbean’s Liberty, and NCL’s Majesty, Dawn and Epic.
Bernie’s dreams of traveling and entertaining have been realized!
Fans eagerly wanting to take him home have to settle for his two CD’s. Bernie promotes these as he purrs to the audience, “Gr-r-r-r-r…if you wish you can take me to your cabin. All I need is your room number.” Then with a chuckle he says, “You can charge it to your bill.”
The first CD, “Shaken Not Stirred,” was recorded live with an audience one evening on the NCL Dawn and released in 2009. Bernie remarked, “It was easy to select the most commonly requested songs including standards, classic pop, and Spanish standards.”
“Unforgettable,” the second CD, was recorded in a New York studio in early 2010. “This time I chose songs which I personally liked and stuck with the standards.” Also included were two originals written by Bernie.
Cruisers already possessing these CD’s beg Bernie to produce more for them to purchase and enjoy.
“Where is Bernie?” People are always checking to see where he is performing and connect with him through Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, music downloads, Twitter and there is always his detailed website at berniemartini.com.
“…… and you know it’s me you’ll be coming to see to forget about life for a while,” sings Bernie Martini setting off the crowd with cheering and applause during his rendition of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”
Piano Man Bernie Martini is indeed a treasure to be discovered on the Epic!!! 2010