New York City native Billy Martin, an accomplished drummer, artist and producer, was born into music. His mother was a Radio City Rockette and his father was a concert violinist (Beaux Arts String Quartet, NYC Ballet, Opera). At age 17, Martin devoted himself to music as he emersed himself into Manhattan’s thriving musical landscape. In the years to follow, he honed his craft everywhere from Broadway orchestra pits to Brazilian nightclubs to burgeoning underground venues. During these times Martin performed with Medeski Martin and Wood as he developed his mastery of complex jazz compositions while displaying the conversational fluency of free improvisation. Martin also showed that as a performer he could aptly handle the groove and swagger of classic R&B and funk compositions.
Indeed, Martin has gone on to appear on many albums and be part of high-profile collaborations with John Scofield, John Zorn, Iggy Pop, Natalie Merchant, Ornette Coleman, Flea, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Lee Ranaldo, Bill Laswell, Mickey Hart, MMW and many others. Martin was also a part of collaborations between Master Musicians and Jajouka (Amulet Records) and this work was recently released by Amulet Records as The Road to Jajouka (Martin also served as the producer for the project).
Beyond his musical accomplishments, Martin is also an accomplished filmmaker, visual artist (his work was featured in 2014’s Cartegena de indias Bienal in Colombia and The Drawing Sound series (NYC) in (2015)), and, he owns and manages Amulet Records. Currently, Martin is also the Executive Artistic Director and CEO of the legendary Creative Music Studio (Woodstock, New York).