Virginia Ashby Martin
Lead Vocalist for Groove Nation Band
Having a great passion for music at the earliest age, Virginia Ashby began formal music training in Seattle at age 12, being awarded a full scholarship to a private school for the Arts, the Northwest School. There she studied under Seattle Jazz legend Floyd Standifer who sparked her passion for jazz and vocal improv, offering the most significant impact to her musical development moving forward. During this time, she was invited to join the group Vocalpoint! Seattle, to train and perform year-round at the Broadway Performance Hall and showcasing for various events and festivals in the Northwest.
Throughout her college years, Virginia focused on writing and producing her own original music. She worked for numerous churches in the Puget Sound area featuring her original music, as well as immersing herself in singing traditional gospel music.
At age 21 Virginia began singing full time. Developing a diverse variety of musical projects, including her cover band The Players, the duo Ladies Night with Liz Aday, the jazz standard show Virginia & Friends with Paul Richardson and Sandy Harvey, and the jam band In the Pocket. In addition, she began offering vocal coaching, ear training and voice lessons to students of all ages.
In 2001 Virginia traded in her own cover band to join the band Nitecrew, performing in casinos from Seattle to Reno. In 2007 she was invited to sing abroad with the Martin Ross Orchestra in Hong Kong and was featured on the KIRO television show, Seattle Stars. In 2008 she traveled again with the Martin Ross Orchestra to China where she performed at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. In 2009 Virginia wrote, produced, and released her full-length album Steal Your Heart.
After marrying her husband Bryan Martin in 2010, Virginia acquired the mononym Verginia under which to release her originals, including singles such as Strongest Weakness, To Where the Wind Blows and Crave.
Today, Virginia continues to delight in sharing her passion for music to audiences all over the Northwest with the band Groove Nation!
Fun Facts About Virginia
1. Middle name(s): Anne Elizabeth Laurette Ashby
2. Favorite Band of all time:
Super hard question, but if I was trapped on a deserted island I would be happy with Aretha Franklin's life's work.
3. Dream Concert:
Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington & Louis Armstrong!
4. Favorite Movie:
Nightmare Before Christmas or Jungle Book (the 1967 version with Louis Prima, great soundtrack!)
5. Favorite Michael Jackson song: Human Nature
6. Celeb lookalike?
Hmmm... feel free to help me with this one. I guess maybe Joan Wall or someone from the 1920s-1940s?
7. Favorite GNB moment so far?
Quil Ceda Creek Casino. I saw a lot of my old friends again & had a great show with my new fam-bandly. All my favorite peeps in one place that night!
Earliest memory of playing music: I remember making up songs to sing in preschool, but I learned to play my 1st instrument (the Recorder), in 2nd grade.
8. I like to eat: Coffee Häagen-Dazs icecream!
9, What people don't know about me: I am naturally a very quite & shy person. Of course I have to put that aside when I perform because that would be super boring, lol! I love making people happy with music, I live for it. But my performance always comes from a place of service, a place of humility, as an act of love to those that show up.
10. Most embarrassing moment on stage?
WOW, there are so many! I will have to get back to you on my "most winning failure".
11. Favorite beverage: red wine
12., Favorite vacation spot: Curaçao