Martha High Biography

The lovely and talented, Ms. Martha High, was tagged as one of the, “hardest working ladies in show business!”

Martha High was born in Victoria, Virginia and grew up in Washington DC. She used to sing around the house all the time and obviously had a gift. While still in high school, Martha auditioned for ‘THE JEWELS’ and wowed them with her blessed talent and became a member. After a few years passed they recorded a national hit ‘Opportunity,’ Together with The Jewels she went on tour to elite nightclubs and theatres on the East Coast of America.

It was here that Martha and The Jewels caught the eye and ear of JAMES BROWN. Soon they became his opening act travelling extensively with his ‘James Brown Revue.’

Their album debut with James Brown was in 1967 – The James Brown Show on the Smash label. Mr. Brown recorded and released several songs featuring The Jewels until the group disbanded after which, Martha stayed with James Brown and continued to work with him as his personal background vocalist for 32 years a length of time unchallenged by any other!

During her years with James Brown, she recorded a self-titled album, ‘Sal Soul’ featuring. Martha High for New York City based, Sal Soul Records, in 1979, produced by, Mr. Brown. He also produced and released a single of Martha’s called ‘Georgie Girl’ with the flip side, ‘Try Me.’ on one of his record labels. During the years that followed she led newly formed groups, such as The Soul Twins, Martha and the Honeybees, Martha and the Lazers and finally, The Bittersweets.

Over the years she has had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the greatest artists known; Little Richard, Jerry lee Lewis, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, B.B. King, Mary J Blige, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Michael Jackson and British famous group Police and with many, many more!

Indeed, this Funky Diva appeared on many funky masterpieces, to name a few such as ‘Payback’, Body Heat, Doin It To Death, Ain’t That A Groove and Bring It Up, It’s Hell and on the unforgettable duet with James Brown, ‘Summertime’ It was an exciting time for her when she recorded the song ‘Go Fer Yer Funk’ with The Godfather of soul, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins!

After leaving Mr. Brown, in the year of 2000; Martha went on to record a single called ‘It’s Hustle Time (I’m Not Braggin)’ along with a live album entitled ‘Martha High live at ‘Quai Du Blues’. Rave reviews spread to fans in Europe, Japan and South America and Martha’s tour results, were sold out performances.

In 2000, Martha appeared with legendary Maceo Parker and his band as a featured vocalist.  She has since continued to tour the world with ‘The Teacher’. Mr. Parker, which allowed her to start her solo career touring with several bands, ‘Shaolin Temple Defenders‘ and a live CD with them called ‘W.O.M.A.N’ The T.C. Gang, in Rome Italy, Morblus Band, in Italy and most recently, The Maceo Parker Band.

Martha continues to tour with various artists, while continuing her solo career and a new CD. Still featured with top musicians; Peewee Ellis and Fred Wesley, Marva Whitney and Gwen McCrae, Roy Ayers, Boney Fields & the Bone Project, Omar, She’s been the opening act for Legendary Sly & The Family Stone, at the Famous Olympia Theatre in Paris and has played on the main stage at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and at The Lionel Hampton Club, in ‘Le Meridian Hotel’ in Paris.

While at the ‘Mood’s Night Club’, in the Meridian Hotel, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, she received standing ovations! That’s only to name a few. She has traveled and performed all over the world and is living with a dream of performing in China, the one place she has not been.

When off the road, Martha does workshops and master classes, in and around Paris. She provides her expertise and has been commissioned to participate in the development of rising singers. She is like a breath of fresh air, with clarity and quality. Gifted with a sound spanning the musical spectrum, from Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Roll, to Gospel, her soulful sound appeals to a wide audiences, from the young to the ‘still jammin’ seniors! Highly revered by a huge international audience with her newly released CD, ‘It’s High Time.’ now released in the U.S.A and soon in Europe; Martha continues to serve up a mesmerizing and genuine musical sound of soul which includes her own style of Rhythm & Blues and Funk.

Martha has very proudly announced, she has her very own group of talented, excellent, mighty funky musicians and singers!


Martha High headshot