Trombonist, composer, and music educator Brian Martin is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, holding a bachelor's degree in Music Education - Jazz Studies and a master's degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. He remains active in both Iowa and New England as a performer, writer, and teacher. He is currently on the music staff of Derby Academy.
At UMASS, Martin was the lead/principal trombonist in Jazz Ensemble I, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Wind Ensemble. Before moving to Massachusetts, Martin performed most commonly with Grand Ave Ruckus, the 'Ceptet, the Metro Brass Quintet, and as a regular sub with The Des Moines Big Band. He has performed internationally, notably in Italy and Thailand. When not leading his own freelance groups, he has also appeared with Shokazoba, the Makanda Project, the Jeff Holmes Big Band, the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz All-Stars, the Max Wellman Big Band, the Roni Garza Salsa Orchestra, and the Synergy Jazz Nonet, among others.
In addition to performing, Martin is a prolific composer of music in the classical and jazz realms. His current primary focus is writing for his Brian Martin Big Band, an elite ensemble comprised of many of the top jazz musicians from Iowa and New England that is dedicated to performing his original compositions and arrangements. His original composition “Lookin’ Forward” was selected for performance during the Young Composers Showcase at the Tenth Annual JEN Conference, and was performed by the US Army Jazz Ambassadors . Many of his big band compositions and arrangements can be found on several of UNI Jazz Band One's annual CD releases including: Vibrant Lights (2019) That Doesn't Even Look Like You (2017), Not With THAT Attitude! (2014) and This is the Band (2013). He has been commissioned to write music for ensembles ranging in ability and style from elementary band to collegiate jazz to high school show choir.
Martin is available as a tutor for trombonists and composers in the South Shore area. At UMASS, he directed the Jazz Lab ensemble, and coached a jazz quintet of undergraduate students. He has presented masterclasses on trombone performance, improvisation, and jazz pedagogy to middle school, high school, and collegiate students. His high school private students have been members of ensembles at the All-State and All-District levels, as well as participants of various honors ensembles. In 2014, Martin organized the Transcription Education Project, recording several of the Des Moines area's top jazz musicians improvising solos that are accessible to young students. During his tenure as a public school Band Director, his students received many awards and honors, most notably representing his district's Band program in the Iowa All-State Music Festival in 2016, the first time a Band student in that district had been accepted to the Festival since 1990.