Skip to page content

Martha Gonzalez

About this Artist

Martha Gonzalez is a Grammy award-winning Chicana musician, composer, and feminist music scholar. Born and raised in East Los Angeles Gonzalez was recently awarded a United States Artist Fellowship in 2020 in music and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022. Although trained in the extensive and varied musical genres of Mexican culture from birth, Gonzalez has earned most of her musical successes with the Grammy Award (2013) winning Chicano rock band Quetzal.  Their latest recording “Puentes Sonoros” (Sonic Bridges) was released on Smithsonian Folkways in the fall of 2020. Gonzalez has recorded, collaborated, and/or toured with artists such as; Los Lobos, Los Van Van, Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Jackson Brown, Susana Baca, Perla Batalla, El Teatro Campesino, Jaguares, Ozomatli, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, iCubanismo!, Taj Mahal, Tom Waits, Los Super Seven, Lila Downs, Raul Malo, Rick Treviño, Son De Madera, La Marisoul, La Santa Cecilia, Aloe Blac and Maya Jupiter and Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, Lauryn Hill, and Mervyn Warren. 

Gonzalez is a consummate collaborator and composer for the theater as she has worked on projects such as; “They Shoot Mexicans Don’t They?” an adaptation of “Their Dogs Came with Them” and most recently, “Ridding the Currents of the Wielding Wind” with award-winning playwriter Virginia Grise. Gonzalez is currently working on an album “Memory and Return” with David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Most recently, and as a testament to the body of music and community work Gonzalez has accomplished on and off the stage, in the summer of 2017 Gonzalez’s tarima (stomp box) and zapateado dance shoes were acquired by the National Museum of American History and are on permanent display in the “One Nation Many Voices” exhibit in Washington, DC. Gonzalez’s first manuscript Chican@ Artivistas: Music, Community, and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles was published by the University of Texas Press and was recently awarded best first book (non-fiction) by the International Latino Book Awards. Gonzalez currently lives in Los Angeles with her partner Quetzal Flores and their 17-year-old son-Sandino.