Trombonist, composer, and music educator Brian Martin is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, holding a Bachelor's degree in Music Education - Jazz Studies. He is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His university mentors have included Bob Washut, Christopher Merz, Chris Buckholz, Jeffrey W. Holmes, Felipe Salles, Thomas Giampietro, and Greg Spiridopoulos. He has also studied with legendary trombonists Abbie Conant and Steve Davis.
At UMass, Martin plays lead trombone in Jazz Ensemble I and is a member of the UMass Symphony Orchestra. Before moving to Massachusetts, Martin performed most commonly with the 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 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 Massachusetts 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, to be performed on January 12, 2019 by the US Army Jazz Ambassadors. Several of his big band compositions and arrangements can be found on three of UNI Jazz Band One's annual CDs including: 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 Pioneer Valley. He currently co-directs the UMASS Jazz Lab ensemble, and has worked as a coach with a jazz quintet of UMASS students.. He was sought after as a trombone clinician in central Iowa, having led masterclasses in school districts such as West Des Moines and Ankeny. 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 designed to be 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.
OAS, AAS, LLS