Barrett Martin is an American drummer, composer, producer, and writer who has performed around the world with several rock and jazz groups since the alternative music explosion of the early 1990’s. Some of those bands included Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara, REM, and Walking Papers. He has also been a session musician on over 75 albums to date, including numerous film and television soundtracks.Over the years, he has collaborated with several renowned musicians and poets including guitarist Mike McCready, guitarist Peter Buck, singer Layne Staley, Delta Blues legend CeDell Davis, Iraqi master musician Rahim Alhaj, African Griot Foday Musa Suso, the poet Coleman Barks, and Native American musician and poet Joy Harjo.
A short synopsis of his musical studies around the world include study with Garifuna drummers in Belize, Wolof drummers in Senegal, Ewe drummers in Ghana, Santeria drummers in Cuba, Candomble drummers in Brazil, the singing Shipibo Shamans of the Peruvian Amazon, Delta Blues musicians, Arabic musicians, Native American musicians, and various recording projects around the world. Over the course of his 25 year career, his work has been featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Spin, Classic Rock, Mojo, Uncut, and numerous other international magazines, newspapers, and websites.
In 2001, Barrett started the indie record label, Sunyata Records, to release new music from around the world. In 2009, the PBS short documentary on Barrett’s drumming and Zen practice titled, “Zen and the Art of Percussion”, won an Emmy in the New Media Arts category. In 2010, he was appointed adjunct professor in the Liberal Arts Department at Antioch University Seattle, the famed liberal arts institution. When he is not on tour, he teaches classes on music and cultural expression. He has recently started writing a blog for the Huffington Post.