An award-winning British singer-songwriter, often compared to James Taylor and John Denver, playing original songs and hits from the 1960s to the present day. Martin has opened for Sarah McLachlan and Andy Grammer, had a top 10 album (July 2017), appeared at top folk festivals and sold over 20, 000 albums independently. A seasoned performer with over 1000 gigs under his belt, from house concerts to stadiums, Martin's golden voice and warm heart will charm your guests and make your event unforgettable. Bring kleenex. Your mother will cry when he sings Hallelujah.
2017 Kerrville New Folk Finalist
2017 Best Male Artist, Edmonton Music Awards
2008 Canadian Idol Finalist
Price Range: $500 and up
Gig Length: 5 - 240 minutes
Languages: Chinese, English
Insurance: $2,000,000 - Commercial General Liability (via HUB International)
What to Expect
Martin has been performing full-time for events for the last 10 years, clocking up well over 1000 professional gigs in that time, from intimate backyard parties, to huge prestigious concert halls, huge conferences and stadium shows.
He will tailor his set list to your audience, but always includes a good balance of original songs and popular covers, upbeat and mellow choices.
Audiences can expect to be moved, to laugh, cry, cheer and sing along. Encores and standing ovations are almost inevitable. He has songs for every kind of theme and occasion, and can even write a custom song for your event or learn your favourite song for you.
While Martin is happy to perform background music if preferred, the audience will have a more memorable experience if Martin has their full attention at least for part of the event, even if only 10 minutes. His hilarious stage banter will get your group laughing and his powerful lyrics will touch their hearts.
Event planners can expect Martin to provide a detailed contract, arrive on time, provide and set up his own top-notch sound equipment, be professional, sober and polite for the duration of the event, be flexible where possible should your schedule be delayed, and stay for encores when requested.
2017 is a big year for Martin Kerr. Building his career from the streets, one passer-by at a time, he now has a local following of thousands and is able to put on his own shows at major venues.
After selling out the 1800-capacity Winspear Centre on May 24th, his next step is opening for Sarah McLachlan at the 20,000-seat Rogers Place on July 1st, where he will release his new album, ''Better Than Brand-New'. Recorded with Juno-nominated producer, Stew Kirkwood, the bold new sound showcases the range of Martin's voice and depth of his songwriting, while remaining true to his folk roots,
Often compared to the best of the 1970 troubadours - Cat Stevens, James Taylor, John Denver - Martin's anthemic modern-folk connects with listeners of all ages. In true folk tradition, he takes his music to the people wherever he can. Starting at farmer's markets, and offering CDs from his guitar case, his independently released albums have sold 20,000 copies and counting.
Born and raised in the English countryside, Martin took the long way round to a new home in Canada. While travelling in China he met a Canadian girl, who became his stalker and then later his wife. The bizarre story of their courtship forms an integral and hilarious part of his live show. With just a guitar (and sometimes a cello accompanist) his brilliant storytelling and soaring vocals are enough to captivate any audience.
Martin's talent has already earned him opening spots with Andy Grammer, Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) and Sean McCann (Great Big Sea), and now Sarah McLachlan. Expect to see him on more big stages soon.
Martin Kerr is available for bookings as a soloist, as a duo with cellist Christine Hanson, or with his 5-piece band.
Additional Booking Notes
Martin provides his own professional sound equipment for audiences up to 150. For larger events, the venue will often provide their own in-house sound system and engineer. If not, Martin can help you to rent a suitable system at low cost.
There are no special lighting requirements. As long as the audience can see Martin, he is happy.
A suitably sized performance area for solo performances is 6'x6'. For full band shows a larger space will be required. We are flexible and have performed in all kinds of interesting spaces, from basements and garages to barns and even sitting on the bar at a crowded restaurant.
A 3-pin power outlet is required for Martin's sound system. If this is not possible, our battery powered system can work for smaller events (roughly up to 50 people).
Here is a typical set list for an intimate 2-hour house concert. There is a 50-50 blend of original songs and covers. Martin has a full repertoire of 50 original songs and 100 popular covers. A set list will be tailored to suit your audience and event. Martin can perform for any length of time from 5 minutes to 4 hours.
Better Together (Jack Johnson)
Book of Love (Magnetic Fields/Peter Gabriel)
My Love’s Been More Than 2 hrs Long (Kerr)
Kryptonite Anniversary (Kerr)
Ain’t no Sunshine (Bill Withers)
Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Bruce Cockburn)
Undiscovered Geniuses (Kerr)
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
The Update (Kerr)
Little Screens (Kerr)
Mr. Liao (Kerr)
Into the Mystic (Van Morrison)
Not in Stores (Kerr)
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
Nothing Compares 2U (Prince/Sinead O’connor)
Here is an example set list for a 3-hour wedding reception - more covers and more upbeat:
Better Together – Jack Johnson
When You Say Nothing at All - Ronan Keating
Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Nights in White Satin- The Moody Blues
You Two Can – Martin Kerr
Sincerity - Martin Kerr
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Lost Together – Blue Rodeo
Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
Wonderwall – Oasis
High and Dry – Radiohead
Flake – Jack Johnson
Revolution – The Beatles
You Really Got Me – The Kinks
Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
Yellow – Coldplay*
Heart of Gold – Neil Young
Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot
My love's been...2 Hours Long – Martin Kerr
Undiscovered Geniuses – Martin Kerr
I'm Yours – Jason Mraz
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
What a Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
Angels – Robbie Williams
Kryptonite Anniversary - Martin Kerr
When I’m 64 – The Beatles
My Girl – The Temptations
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Champagne Supernova – Oasis
Karma Police – Radiohead
With or Without You – U2
I will follow you into the dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Into the Mystic - Van Morisson
Here's a sample set list for a wedding ceremony:
Angels - Robbie Williams
The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohne
I Can't help Falling in Love with You - Elvis
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
Processional - When you say nothing at all - Allison Krauss
Signing of registry - Better together - Jack Johnson
Recessional - I'm yours - Jason Mraz
Influences & Inspiration
James Taylor, John Denver, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Radiohead, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, The Beatles, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Counting Crows, Van Morrison, Passenger.
3-pin power outlet