An extraordinarily talented singer who has been wowing audiences,
critics and peers since she was barely out of her teens, Marta
Sanders, says
“The voice is an instrument of emotions, not words. It
enters the mind, but it touches the heart.”
So the music she chooses
reflects the excitement, the love and the independence that have
characterized her own life.
As you can see in her bio page (“The Person”), Texan born Marta
Sanders was part of a family of singers and performers. Her own
love of music grew amidst a peripatetic childhood. It was in Bogotá,
Colombia that Sanders attended high school and began taking voice
lessons in classical music. After graduation, her voice studies
continued, but she was no longer content with the limits of opera.
Surrounded by proud, emotionally charged Spanish music, Sanders
found it increasingly difficult to accept the imaginary world of opera.
She was compelled to sing about her own real feelings, real events,
and the pain and laughter that are a part of them.
At nineteen, she moved to New York City and attended the American
Musical and Dramatic Academy, studying voice with one of the city’s
most respected voice teachers Paul Gavert. Her early performances
quickly followed graduation, she got her Actor’s Equity card in a
production of Man of La Mancha, and sang with a couple of vocal
groups; "Jerry Morton & Somebody's Kids", and "The Individuals".
“Marta Sanders has such an easy presence that she can
make even throwaway songs seem important.”
John S. Wilson, The New York Times
Marta Sanders - The Singer
"Every time
you see her
you have a
good time!."
Scott & Barbara
Siegel -
Marta Sanders at the
Review By: John Hoglund for Theatre




Within a year, she was invited to travel to Santa Domingo to perform
solo in a popular nightspot called the Manaloa. It was her first night
club engagement, and she was hooked.
Upon returning to New York,
Sanders began lining up engagements at popular cabaret rooms
around town like; Reno Sweeney's, Les Mouches, and The Ballroom,
singing her original blend of powerful Spanish ballads, hit show
tunes, and the work of other bright young artists. One of her lyricists
was Carol Hall. Carol was working then, on a new show entitled:
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". Hall persuaded Sanders to
join the Actors Studio and sing in the show. A catalytic element in
the show's transformation from creators' pens to final work, Marta
sang in the production right through its first six months on
Broadway. At that point a contract anniversary allowed Sanders to
leave "Whorehouse" and, return to her beloved cabaret.

For nearly a year, Marta performed on cruise ships. She then
returned to the nightclubs of Central and South America, and the
Caribbean where the Spanish influence would again play an
important part in her work.
Buenos Aires 1967
Love of adventure eventually succumbed to passions in Manhattan: an
Englishman with a deep rich voice and the daughters they had together.
Now settled in NYC, Marta still managed once or twice a year to present
her work in some of the city's top cabaret and show rooms including;
Rainbow & Stars, Upstairs at Greene Street, Maxim’s and Eighty Eights,
Freddy's, Sweetwater’s, Danny's Skylight Room, and Arci’s Place, sadly all
gone now. Ms. Sanders has recently had the pleasure to perform in today’
s Manhattan rooms; The Metropolitan Room, Dillon’s, Sardi’s and The
Triad. Marta also continues to travel, performing in night clubs and private
functions and fund-raisers in the United States and abroad.
Singing as she Swings, on a bronze sculpture by
Colin, Marta performs for a party at the artists
studio in NYC - Circa 1987
Marta Sanders: The Gift that Keeps on Giving        
By Andrew Martin,, Dec 2011

It was to be expected that the show Ho Ho Ho! Kick Off the Season with Marta! featuring
cabaret legend Marta Sanders at the Laurie Beechman in her first full-length offering in
many seasons, would be absolutely heavenly. And it was, in abundance. But what came
with this was an indescribable quality; Sanders has never lacked for elegance, finesse
or vocal richness, and all of these were more than clearly evident as usual. More than
this, though, is the feeling that Sanders has somehow aged like a fine wine;
the oft-irreverent jokes and thunderous belt notes that have been such a hallmark of
her work since the 1980s are still there, and yet the evening was almost like watching a
hybrid of Marilyn Maye and Sharon McNight. Perhaps this is simply a sign that she has
officially grown into her iconic stature and is able to wear it like a de la Renta gown.
Whatever the cause, the evening emerged a winner on all counts.
Gorgeously directed by Debra Zalkind (one of Sanders's castmates from the original
Broadway company of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), holiday tunes are very
much on the menu here; these include "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "The Most
Wonderful Time of the Year," "Silent Night" sung in Spanish as "Noche de Paz," "Let it
Snow," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and a sing-along medley of Jose Feliciano's "Feliz
Navidad," "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." But it is the additional
selections that are of far greater note. Sanders has joyously opted to include
"Panache" by Phillip Namanworth (a truly great composer largely ignored lo these last
several seasons, and which is also the title track for her latest CD), "Little
Luncheonette" by the ever-excellent Francesca Blumenthal, and her signature song
"Mary Mad Mary," by Dawn Hampton and Robert Peaco, with which she slaughtered
New York audiences some years ago while performing it as part of the Off-Broadway
review Crossroads alongside Terri White and others. There's also the
delectably-humorous "Hunk on the Bus," written exclusively for her by Michael Greer,
and such chestnuts as "Wonderful World" and "You Made Me Love You" (the latter is
cherished by the lady and Gordon Cooper, her husband of three decades). She also
employs characterization, and brilliantly so, in the side-splitting guise of Maria Dolores
del Rio, a Castillian fortune teller and a woman scorned. In addition, the songwriting
team of composer John McMahon and lyricist Jay Jeffries, hot off the success of their
new show Aesop & Company, are represented here with the numbers "Been Around
the Block" (also written exclusively for her) and "Magic in Manhattan," which includes
such gems of wordsmithing as "Tourists imagine it's built for Plantagenets." All
combine to fully deliver the evening as a beautifully-wrapped holiday package that is
never anything less than a joy to receive.
'Tis pity that Christmas can't last all year, for Ho Ho Ho! Kick Off the Season with Marta!
would surely find itself ensconced at the Beechman or elsewhere as a perpetual
sellout. Until it returns, one simply must remain content to wait for Sanders's next
offering, which is certain to be as stellar as always
She has just released her latest CD “Panache” featuring American song book classics and some wonderful songs
written exclusively for Marta. Her first CD, “Corazon del Alma” is a sumptuously orchestrated compilation of
standard Latin ballads sung in Spanish.

Marta Sanders   With a Song in My Heart    - The Triad, New York City – Feb 2010

If they charged a dollar per laugh provided by veteran Marta Sanders' performance, it
would be the most prohibitively expensive show in town. Fortunately, that's not the
price structure for this superbly structured act. And the comedy and quips are just
part of a well-rounded presentation. She also has a knockout belt voice for Broadway
fare, soaring with “On a Clear Day You Can Forever” and full of carpe diem, grit and
self¬ deprecation for “But Alive” from Applause. And applause on that and everything
was plentiful and plenty deserved. Savvy and sly, with sass and sparkling eyes, this
pro nails her moments and milks the reactions just enough. There's a winking,
conspiratorial "Let's all have fun" contract sealed with the audience from the start.
This is a true entertainer who knows every shtick in the book, decidedly "old school"
in the best sense. Her loopy, broad characters are sublimely silly in song and speech
and come with thick accents, costumes and attitude.

If it all sounds very big, it is-thus, the proscenium stage of The Triad is ideal; there's
no worry of being overwhelmed with things being too in-¬your-face. For a change of
pace, and a nod to her roots, our senora sings "Besame Mucho." Best of all are the
delicious special material songs provided by lyricist Jay Jeffries and
composer/Musical Director/pianist John MacMahon, plus the oh-so-French "Marthe
of Montmartre" piece by Francesca Blumenthal. Ready, willing and able to please,
tease and seize every opportunity to dazzle and delight, Marta Sanders succeeds on
all levels.

Rob Lester February 7, 2010
Marvelous Marta
Recommended listening comes from vocalists who've perked up my ears and piqued my

I've been wanting to spread the news flash about
Panache, the spiffy and spunky album by
the splendid Marta Sanders, but had to wait until it was available online. The time has
finally come this month, as she returned to perform again at the Laurie Beechman
Theatre. Marta is a pip. She's an old-school musical comedy belter who can deliver socko
sarcasm, super-silliness, and genuine warmth. Her enjoyable prior album focused on
Spanish-language selections and was earthy and rich, but didn't show the many colors of
her madcap and mercurial sides or the out-and-out broad goofy glee she can bring to a
story-song about eyeing a "Hunk on the Bus," which begins with her admitting to drooling
over a stud-muffin and builds to an absurd, over-the-top ending. Another bus ride is a
serious one—"The Bus from Amarillo" (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas by Carol Hall).
It's filled with regrets of thwarted ambition trumped by insecurity and the burdens of
wondering what might have been and the self-scolding are palpable. Also in that vein—
but even more searing because the wound feels more raw and fresh—is Mame's classic
"If He Walked Into My Life." It becomes a strong entry as a case of rue and self-
recrimination, and all the more gut-wrenching by Marta's making it less about wailing
while riding the train of self-pity and more about slowly, reflectively reeling from
realizations and being pained by one's too-little-too-late awareness.

"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" brings encouraging insight and then she jumps
into a spot-on embrace of the sardonic point of view and joie de vivre in "But Alive" from
Applause. (Her bubbliness and wink at weariness is captured in her sharp delivery of
lines like "younger than springtime and older than Moses, but alive.") The old ode to
appreciation of Nature and life's joys, "What a Wonderful World," which can be
unspeakably treacly in others' hands, but survives here to be believably sincere and
simple. And, oh, this gal can be brash and boisterous pulling out all the stops when she
so chooses. She has a ball singing the dubious praises of "Warsaw" as a romantically
idyllic spot ("Warsaw/ I never foresaw/ How much I'd miss you/ Enchanted city by the lovely
Wisla River").

Especially delicious is Panache's title song (bemoaning the current day's lack of flair) and
the number that's become her theme song, "Been Around the Block." The latter's older-
but-wiser/wise-ass mix of self-confidence and self-deprecation ("I recognize my cue/ I
know the score/ I've been there, done it, seen it all/ Wrote the whole damn book/ I've no
regrets, I mean it all/ I'm smarter than I look ...")

Best of all, this material fits her like a custom-fit, well-crafted glove. Such very special
material is fashioned by longtime colleagues, the top musical theatre/cabaret team of
lyricist Jay Jeffries and composer/pianist/musical director John McMahon. It's polished
and smart and delivered with gusto. Some vibrato and powerhouse wailing (here and
elsewhere) add to the impact of a gutsy gal who stakes her claim to attitude and songs.

Marta Sanders is a queen of clowning. And when a clown can unexpectedly break your
heart by dropping the shenanigans to be real and tender, it's potent. There's pizzazzy
panache throughout Panache.

- Rob Lester, Sound Advice,, Dec 2012