Barrett Martin

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Barrett Martin
Barrett martin.jpg
Background information
Born (1967-04-14) April 14, 1967 (age 56)
Olympia, Washington, U.S.
OriginSeattle, Washington
GenresAlternative rock, modern jazz, jazz fusion, Delta blues, grunge
Occupation(s)Record producer, Percussionist, Composer, Writer, Ethnomusicologist
Instrument(s)Drums, percussion, upright bass, keyboards, vibraphone, marimba
Years active1987–present
LabelsColumbia, Cruz, Epic, Sunyata Records & Books

Barrett Martin (born April 14, 1967) is an American record producer, percussionist, writer, and ethnomusicologist from Washington. As a producer he has won one Latin Grammy and has been nominated in two other categories. As an ethnomusicologist he has produced two albums for the Shipibo Shamans in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, and one album for the Neets'ai Gwich'in in the Alaskan Arctic. He is perhaps best known for his work with the alternative rock bands Screaming Trees and Mad Season. He was also a member of Skin Yard, Tuatara, and Walking Papers, and has performed as a session musician for many artists in a wide variety of genres.


Martin was born and raised in Olympia, Washington[1] and studied music for two years at Western Washington University before dropping out and moving to Seattle to join that city's late-1980s alternative rock scene.[2] He later earned bachelor's and master's degrees in ethnomusicology from the University of New Mexico[3] graduating Summa Cum Laude

Martin joined Skin Yard in 1990 and played on their fourth and fifth studio albums.[4] While still a member of Skin Yard, Martin was recruited by Screaming Trees and played on their successful 1992 album Sweet Oblivion.[5] He then joined Screaming Trees full-time and remained with that band until it split in 2000. In the meantime, Martin formed the grunge supergroup Mad Season with Mike McCready, Layne Staley, and Baker Saunders; that band released the album Above in 1995, after which the members returned to their full-time bands.[6] Martin formed another supergroup, Tuatara, in 1996 with Peter Buck; Martin produced nine albums with this group until it split in 2014.[7]

Martin was ordained as a Zen monk in 2000,[8] and started the company Sunyata Records & Books (now known as Sunyata Media) in 2001.[9] He began recording as Barrett Martin Group in 2004, and has released ten studio albums under that name.[10] He was appointed adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at Antioch University-Seattle from 2010-2017.[3]

Martin formed the supergroup Walking Papers with Jeff Angell and Duff McKagan in 2012, and played on that band's first two albums.[11] In 2013 he started writing a music and culture blog for The Huffington Post,[12] and frequently writes for Riot Material.[13] Martin won the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award in 2014 for his writing.[14] He formed yet another supergroup, Levee Walkers, with McKagan and McCready in 2016.[15]

In 2016, Martin produced the album Jardim-Pomar by Brazilian musician Nando Reis, which won a Latin Grammy the following year.[16] In 2017, Martin published the book The Singing Earth, recounting his musical experiences in multiple genres and nations.[17] His second book The Way of the Zen Cowboy was published in 2019.[18] In recent years he has produced albums for CeDell Davis (Even The Devil Gets The Blues)[19] and Ayron Jones[20] Joy Harjo (I Pray For My Enemies), Hector Tellez Jr.


Barrett Martin Group[edit]

  • The Painted Desert – 2004
  • Earthspeaker – 2006
  • Zenga – 2009
  • Atlas – 2011
  • Artifact – 2012
  • Transcendence - 2018
  • Songs of the Firebird - 2019
  • Indwell - 2019
  • Stillpoint - 2020

Mad Season[edit]

  • Above – 1995
  • Above (Deluxe Edition) - 2013

Screaming Trees[edit]

Shipibo Shamans[edit]

  • Woven Songs Of The Amazon - 2006
  • Woven Songs Of The Amazon II - 2019

Skin Yard[edit]


Walking Papers[edit]


Film soundtracks[edit]

  • Deceiver – 1998
  • The Best Men – 1999
  • Lush – 1999
  • The Fog Ravens – 2003
  • Ausangate – 2006
  • Woven Songs of the Amazon – 2006
  • The Last Bluesman – 2022


  1. ^ "Barrett Martin Pays Respect to the History of Sound on 'Scattered Diamonds'". Jake Uitti. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Drummerszone - Barrett Martin". Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Barrett Martin › Antioch University". September 15, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Skin Yard Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "Screaming Trees Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  6. ^ "Mad Season Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  7. ^ "Tuatara Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  8. ^ "Barrett Martin". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  9. ^ "SUNYATA MEDIA, LLC - website, address, tel. & director names". Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  10. ^ Grow, Kory (August 21, 2020). "Hear Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin's Jazz-Fusion Experiment". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  11. ^ "Walking Papers Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  12. ^ Music and the Politics of Resistance Huffington Post Retrieved January 23, 2013
  13. ^ "Barrett Martin, Author at Riot Material". Riot Material. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Barrett Martin - Sunyata Records". Sunyata Records. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Reed, Ryan (November 2, 2017). "Guns N' Roses, Pearl Jam Supergroup: Hear Cathartic New Song". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Latin Grammy win by Seattle musicians Jack Endino and Barrett Martin highlights Seattle-Brazil connectionSeattle Times Retrieved November 21, 2017
  17. ^ "Barrett Martin Releases The Singing Earth Book". Modern Drummer Magazine. July 17, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  18. ^ "The Way Of The Zen Cowboy av Barrett Martin (Häftad)". (in Swedish). Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "CeDell Davis: Even The Devil Gets The Blues". HuffPost. September 6, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  20. ^ Ralph, Caitlyn (March 24, 2017). "Produced by legendary drummer Barrett Martin, Ayron Jones' new album sets release date". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 23, 2021.

External links[edit]