Magazine article International Musician

64 Going on 24: Martin Stays Youthful Thanks to Music

Magazine article International Musician

64 Going on 24: Martin Stays Youthful Thanks to Music

Article excerpt

Frank Martin of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) remembers the exact moment he fell in love with music, specifically the piano, like it was yesterday.

"I was six years old and I had two sisters who were five years old," he says. "They expressed interest in piano to my grandmother who lived in our split-level house. I didn't know anything about it, but I came home from playing outside one day and the piano was sitting in the corner. I played a perfect fifth in the lower range with my left hand and thought-what a cool thing! I can pound on it and it makes sounds. I did that and never stopped. As soon as I put my hand on it, I was amazed. There was an instant connection."

Almost 60 years later, Martin has taken that connection and carved out an extremely successful career as a keyboardist, arranger, producer, composer, and teacher. And he finds different types of satisfaction in each facet of his well-rounded career.

"For me, that's the fun," he says. "I'd get bored no matter what, if I did one thing. Everything I do, I love to do, but I really need the mix of all different kinds of music and opportunities to perform."

That said, he has had no trouble working with every type of musician-private or college students, plus artists spanning Lady Gaga to Mary J. Blige to Madonna to Elton John to Bruce Springsteen of Locals 399 (Asbury Park, NJ) and 47 (Los Angeles, CA). He's played in many situations-from a star-studded Carnegie Hall performance to a private party where actor Robin Williams sang over his shoulder.

"It doesn't get any better than that," he says of singing with Williams.

Martin steadily pursued his dream of being a musician as a child and young adult But unlike many, he dreamed of being a session player more than a front man.

'All these records I was listening to, I'd hear a great musician playing and would look at the name and see similar names," he says. …

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