Press Release:

New York, NY– Ace and Martin Guitar have been friends and partners for a half-decade now, cultivating a collaboration that’s deeply rooted in a shared passion for music and the desire to support those who make it. In 2016, Martin and Ace Hotel will evolve their partnership from in-room strumming and 5 at 5 into a two-part initiative that centers around public outreach and an openhanded support towards musicians.

Our partnership began organically with co-presenting a live show by Trampled by Turtles in Liberty Hall at Ace New York, and has since grown to global proportions. Now, guests are offered the opportunity to catch lightning in a bottle with a Martin Guitar in Ace Hotel rooms in New York, London, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and New Orleans, rendering Martin the “official guitar” of Ace Hotel Global, and further affirming our hypothesis that travel can be a fertile impetus for creative output.

Our 5 at 5 program offered live, intimate performances by touring musicians, bringing harmony and collaboration to the public spaces at Ace Hotel New York and Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. Together, we’ve seen so many great acts: Father John Misty, Flo Morrissey, Tinariwen, Christopher Owens, Indians and Tal National, and we’ll never forget the time we watched Brooklyn Conservatory of Music students take the floor for a live performance after a master class workshop with the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

And The Theatre, too. Martin took a chance on Ace when The Theatre at Ace Hotel DTLA was just a twinkle in our eye, coming on as supporting partner through the spit-shines, the brainstorming and the first shows — never balking once at our wild hair ideas. We dreamed up a theatre and they set it to music: the past two years have been full of meaningful, nearly sacred, rock and roll experiences, in large part due to Martin’s support.

Looking ahead, we’re thrilled to announce an expanded partnership. In addition to Martin being the official guitar partner for Ace globally, we’re announcing String Theory with Doug Hream Blunt, an event-based music outreach program that will bring NY-based record label Luaka Bop – and one of their latest signees, lo-fi soul artist Doug Hream Blunt – into the fold and usher in a new series of live concerts for the public spaces at Ace New York, DTLA, Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Each performance will benefit local adult education and music therapy centers and Martin guitars will be gifted at the end of each show. More info to be announced soon.

As an additional element of the expanded partnership, the Ace x Martin High Note Micro-Granting Program will provide a select number of micro grants to musicians in Pittsburgh and New Orleans, two cities that have suffered a palpable lack of arts funding. Musicians in these two cities will be nominated through an open-call process in collaboration with local organizations in Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Those awarded will receive a grant to further their artistic efforts and musical endeavors. Through this community-driven nomination system, the program aims to look beyond traditional forms of funding, placing monetary support directly into the hands of musicians in both those cities.

“And to think this all started with a simple comment I made during a photo shoot in one of the Ace Hotel NY loft rooms. Five years ago when I started at Martin, I wanted us to partner with a hotel but could not find the right creative ‘fit’ until I discovered the Ace Hotel(s). We started small and over the years grew together pushing creative boundaries, which for me, is the ideal foundation for a trustworthy and lasting relationship. I consider the Ace to be one of our best marketing collaborations. It’s certainly my ‘home away from home’ whenever I travel.” –Amani Duncan, Vice President Brand Marketing, Martin Guitar

“I’m so excited! Ahahahah… ahihihihi.” –Doug Hream Blunt

“The level of trust and creative spirit we have fostered for the past five years with Martin Guitar has really allowed us to push the boundaries of our work together. From hosting shows in our public spaces, to having beautifully crafted guitars in our hotel rooms for our guests to use, we couldn’t be more excited and honored to further this collaboration into fostering local musicians and their communities.”
–Kelly Sawdon, Partner and Chief Brand Officer, Ace Hotel

About Martin Guitar & Strings
C.F. Martin & Co. ® ( has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 183 years.  It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the “Dreadnought” size. One of the world’s leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques, along with those introduced by the company founder.

The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings.  These include the successful Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, the exciting new Retro Strings line played and loved by Tony Rice and Laurence Juber and the Martin SP line, which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.

Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers.  They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via and

About Luaka Bop

Founded by David Byrne in 1989, Luaka Bop has introduced Os Mutantes, Shuggie Otis, Tim Maia and William Onyeabor to the world at large, and become home to artists like Tom Ze, Floating Points, Cornershop, Zap Mama, and Janka Nabay among others. A few years ago, Luaka Bop reissued the music of William Onyeabor, which may have been the most complicated, if also one of the richest, undertakings in label’s (rarely straightforward) 26-year history. Since, they have put out two artists, whose background and music couldn’t be different from the next: Doug Hream Blunt, a nurse who learned to play music at the age of 35, and Floating Points, the musical genius that is Sam Shepherd,  with a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

About Doug Hream Blunt

Doug Hream Blunt learned to play music in the late 1980s at the age of thirty-five through an adult music class organized by a high school music teacher and his wife in their small San Francisco garage. Doug performed regularly to patients in the hospital he worked at, and has been driven by ties to public and community-driven uses of music as a therapeutic tool. His story reinforces the truth that music is for everyone, and that success can be achieved at any stage of life. To learn more about Doug, you can watch this video narrated by his daughter Leo Lyx.

About Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel reimagines urban hotels for people who make cities interesting. We crave experience more than hospitality clichés. We are curious about the history and geography of the buildings we inhabit, and let these guide us to someplace fresh and familiar.