Billy Martin began studying the drums formally at the age of eleven. From an early age Billy was exposed to all kinds of music. His father; a classical violinist and his mom, a ballet/jazz dancer and Radio City Rockette, were his earliest musical influences. Billy's older brothers also exposed him to the popular music of the day like Sly and the Family Stone, The Allman Brothers and The Rolling Stones to name a few. Before entering The Drummer's Collective, Billy studied with Michael Carvin, Joe Morello, Kenwood Dennard, Frankie Malabe and Manuel Montiero among others. By far one of his major largest influences has been world renown drummer Bob Moses. Moses quickly became a good friend and mentor figure in Billy's life.
While at the Drummer's Collective, Billy was exposed to many different musical styles and developed a love for Latin and Jazz music in particular. Following his tenure at The Collective, Billy began to make a name for himself on the New York Music Scene by playing and recording with many top artists. Billy toured the Brazilian music scene for two years with the band "Batucada" with teacher and friend Manuel Montiero. Billy played in Chuck Mangione's band from 1986-1989 and following stints with Sam Bennet's band "Chunk", Ned Rothenberg's "Double Band" and John Lurie's "The Lounge Lizards"; Billy formed a band with bassist Chris Wood and pianist John Medeski.
"I like unusual, more expressive sounds which leads me to more folk/hand made or found instruments and objects. I'm really loving the new K Constantinoples".
Medeski, Martin & Wood was born out of numerous acoustic jam sessions and informal gigs around the New York City area. Since 1991, the band has released "It's a Jungle in Here", "Friday Afternoon in The Universe", "Shack- Man" and their first Blue Note records release "Combustication". In 2000, MMW released "The Dropper" and spent the better part of the year touring in support of it.
MMW continues to grow its fan base and the band has risen to the high ranks of experimental Jazz/Funk/World jam oriented bands. Billy Martin founded his own record label Amulet Records (189 Franklin St. Suite 491, NY, NY 10013) and aside from being a music businessman, he has certainly proven himself to be a groundbreaker among drummers in his genre.