A night of music, dogs and face paint

Singer-songwriter Walter Martin, known for his family-friendly music and as a former member of the band The Walkmen, is coming to Anchorage. Martin will perform at the UAA Student Union on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m.

The family event is hosted by the UAA Student Activities and Commuter Programs.

“We have a lot of great activities… including face painting, family photos and comfort dogs,” Corey Miller, coordinator for UAA Student Activities, said.

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Singer and songwriter Walter Martin will perform in the UAA Student Union on April 13. Martin is known for his family-friendly music and has released two award winning family albums. Photo credit: Sebastian Kim

It is going to be Martin’s first concert in the 49th state.

“I have never been to Alaska. I really don’t know what to expect,” Martin said. “I’m imagining moose walking down the streets and things like that. I’m very much looking forward to it.”

The musician from Brooklyn embarked on his solo career in 2014. Since then, he has released four studio albums as a solo performer.

For 2014’s “We’re All Young Together” and 2017’s “My Kinda Music,” he was honored with two awards. Both albums are designated for children.

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“When my old band The Walkmen broke up, I decided I wanted to do something on my own and wanted it to be as unlike my old band as possible,” Martin said.

Inspired by rock and roll singers and songwriters from the 1950s, Martin wrote his first solo album and decided to call it a kids record.

“It was about the least cool thing I could think of. I wanted to write something totally fresh,” Martin said.

Martin released his latest album, “Reminisce Bar and Grill,” in early 2018. He tries to put a personal note in all the songs he writes.

“I try to do it in an unvarnished way, so it’s as unique as possible,” Martin said. “The songs have my sense of humor… my way of thinking and talking and telling stories… my imperfect way of playing various instruments and my shaky singing. So, I honestly don’t think anyone could make this music except me.”

At UAA, he will perform a mix of his music for children and adults.

“Since it’s an all-ages show, I’ll mostly play my kids records and a few adult songs that make sense with them,” Martin said. “To me, there’s not much difference between the adult stuff and the kids’ stuff.”

Companies like Google and Apple have been using Martin’s music in their commercials. In addition to his studio albums, Martin is also composing music and songs for visual productions.

Former UAA student Katherine Osborne-Hightower is looking forward to Martin’s performance at the university. She first learned about the family event on Facebook.

“I have heard a few of Walter Martin’s songs on the local KNBA radio station and also on YouTube. He has great music and I am glad that UAA is able to host him for this event,” Osborne-Hightower said.

The event is free for UAA students and all children age 12 and under. Tickets for the general public are $15 and are available on uaatix.com.