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Famed keyboardist John Medeski is not easily contained to a single project or genre; he is credited on over 300 works to date, most notably as one third of the groundbreaking trio, Medeski Martin & Wood. Equally comfortable behind a Steinway grand piano, Hammond organ or any number of vintage keyboards, Medeski is a highly sought after improviser and band leader whose projects range from work with MacArthur Fellow John Zorn, The Word (Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstars), Phil Lesh, Don Was, John Scofield, Coheed & Cambria, Susana Baca, Sean Lennon, Marc Ribot, Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more. Classically trained, Medeski grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where as a teenager he played with Jaco Pastorius before heading north to attend the New England Conservatory. He released hisfirst solo piano record, A Different Time, on Sony’s Okeh Records in 2013, and current projects include a new album with his band Mad Skillet (Terrence Higgins, Kirk Joseph, Will Bernard), and HUDSON (a collaboration with Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield and Larry Grenadier), plus a documentary on Medeski Martin & Wood.
Billy Martin was born in NYC in 1963 to a Radio City Rockette and a concert violinist. At age 17, he devoted himself to music and dove into Manhattan’s thriving, eclectic musical landscape. In the years to follow, he honed his craft everywhere from Broadway orchestra pits to Brazilian nightclubs and burgeoning underground performance spaces.
From the roots of the downtown scene he emerged with Medeski Martin and Wood, bridging the harmonic complexity of jazz, the conversational fluency of free improvisation, and the groove and swagger of classic R&B and funk.
A series of albums and high-profile collaborations with John Scofield, John Zorn, Iggy Pop, Natalie Merchant, and others, brought the band international acclaim. Martin has relentlessly pursued diverse musical contexts, from free improvisation to chamber compositions to film scores. Much of his work is available via his Amulet Records label, which recently released the Road to Jajouka—a series of collaborations (produced by Martin) between the Master Musicians of Jajouka and such artists as Ornette Coleman, Flea, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Lee Ranaldo, Bill Laswell, Mickey Hart, MMW and more.
Most of his work can be found via his own record label Amulet
Records and at BillyMartin.net
Martin is the executive director of Creative Music Studio, the legendary non-profit founded in 1971 with Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman.