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Daily Inspiration: Meet David Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Martinez.

Hi David, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started studying music when I was ten. My dad decided it was a good idea for me to spend my precious Saturday morning learning guitar, so I started what it was a three years journey. After one year I was so ready!!!…to quit the lessons, and then my father told me something that I will always remember: “You always have to finish what you start”, and I told him that the only reason that I started it was because he enrolled me on the program, and he said “Well…either way you have to finish”, so I took that only option he gave me, and I finished. After that, I never put my guitar away.

What started as a hobby, it later became my career. Few years later, I got a scholarship to go to Berklee College of Music, and after I graduated, I decided to move to Los Angeles, where I got my Master in Music, and I had the opportunity to meet, play, and work with great musicians and now good friends. It has been around 15 years since I moved to L.A., and I definitely call it my home. I love the weather, the different great places to visit and relax, and the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, the opportunity to learn from different cultures, and specially to learn about different music styles and influences that I can incorporate on my music. If I’m not recording guitar or bass on the studio, I’m writing new music for me or for other artists, writing lyrics, arranging for horns and strings, composing, or teaching. But there is always something in music that I can be doing. Music has been good with me for all this time, and I’m happy and grateful that I can keep doing it every day.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Probably leaving my brothers and parents back in Guatemala. I thought I was going to go back to Guatemala after finishing in Berklee. But in music you must take opportunities when they come, and having my own family after I finished at Berklee, I had to look for a place where music could be a profession, and at that time it couldn’t be Guatemala. Of course I go and visit them in Guatemala, but it was hard to say goodbye at that time. Also, learning English, it was probably harder than learning new skills in music. Besides that, I think working on my music every day and meeting the right people have helped me to be where I am today.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I love to compose and arrange music. Specially in the style of Jazz Fusion. But I write and arrange in different styles. Sometimes I’m writing lyrics and a new arrangement for a mariachi artist, or writing a horns or strings arrangement for a new orchestral sound song, or playing with different sound and time signatures for my new song.

I also like to teach; in fact, I have been doing that for a little more than 20 years now. I write my own material, and I have written material for different music schools in Guatemala, Mexico and here in United States. The majority of the material is focus in guitar, bass, improvisation and harmony.

In the present, I am working on a couple of new songs for my new project and also finishing a project for singer/artist Carol De Leon. For whom I wrote lyrics, orchestral arrangement, and recorded guitars.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Yes, I think even though it is hard sometimes, we need to try to find a reason to be thankful. Maybe it is that special person, that new opportunity, or the simple fact that you get the gift of living one more day and make the best of it. Yeap, sometimes bad things happen, and many times we can’t do anything to avoid that, but we can definitely decide what our attitude is going to be. Try to learn something new, to do something new, and if the situation is really that bad, make sure you have that special person next to you that can listen to your whining but then help you to keep going.

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Image Credits:

Harry Kim George Shelbey Eric Jorgensen Uziel Colón German Giordano Abraham Laboriel

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