upcoming events

No upcoming gigs. Join my newsletter for updates on future events.

See all events »

new release

Wandering Music

Wandering (music) digipack edition is available at the Amulet Store on on iTunes. The album contains all new compositions: chamber music, percussion...

Read More »

Fly In a Bottle - 5 minute trailer
Life on Drums Featurette
Amber Gris

Latest News

Art Drug Kickstarter is Now Live!

Filed under: News

In 1987, in New York City, young artists are seeking revolutions of their own.

Hey folks,

My dream feature film Art Drug is coming to life. Over the past year I have co-written a story about young characters struggling to find their voice in New York City in the late 1980’s. It was no coincidence that I was one of them. This is based on some personal experience with a wide variety of fictional characters.

I hope you can take a look at my Kickstarter campaign which is chock full of information (film treatment, videos, credits, fantastic rewards, deals and more to come in the next weeks).

I believe we can make this vision a reality, so if you are able to help in any way please visit the Art Drug campaign.

Thank you thank you thank you!!



Filed under: News

     Wandering by Billy Martin  Limited edition hardcover

Culled from over 60 articles and 30+ years of performing, Wandering dives into my processes, concepts, successes, and failures – as a teacher, as a musician, as a human being. My vision is not only to reach other musicians, but to anyone who tries to approach the world with wonder, curiosity, and care.

This book is a roadmap I’d like to share, in hopes that it will lead you into illuminating corners of yourself that you might not have found on your own.

Wandering Music, the companion record, includes new original music written for strings, percussion, brass, electronics and more. The ‘graphic score series’ use images from many of the improvised drawings and illustrations found within the Wandering book. Solo interpretations of these pieces by music masters Cyro Baptista, Nels Cline, Anthony Coleman, David Fiuczynski, Bill Frisell, Annie Gosfield, Billy Martin, Rakalam Bob Moses, and Marcus Rojas.

book with digital download / companion record $55

Limited Availability


Private Music Lessons

Are you looking for an unconventional approach to drumming and music?

For the time being I am available for private lessons – preferably in person, but Skype lessons can be arranged.

If you are interested and have a strong desire to learn and improve please email riddim(at)billymartin(dot)net

Intermediate and advanced level students only please.



New Book “Wandering” set for November Release

Filed under: News

Wandering by Billy MartinFive years ago, the editor of the Japanese magazine Rhythm & Drum asked me to contribute a monthly column. We called it “Profound Roots,” and within it I had free reign to explore anything that moved me: from books and movies I found inspiring to the personal experiences, musical and otherwise, that have helped shape my outlook.

Over time, I began to see these columns as a journey into the processes, concepts, successes, and failures I’d been through and learned from – as a teacher, as a musician, as a human being. These essays are all about being a drummer, but I feel the ideas and challenges they discuss can be relevant across the creative spectrum. I’m not only talking to other musicians, but to anyone who tries to approach the world with wonder, curiosity, and care.

Looking back at this selection of columns now, I see a sketched-out roadmap to some of the most fulfilling places my journey has taken me. It’s a roadmap I’d like to share, in hopes that it will lead you into illuminating corners of yourself that you might not have found on your own.

Thank you to all of my Kickstarter backers – you made this dream a reality and I am deeply grateful.

Special thanks to Editor Julia Jarcho (a playwright and director from New York City – also Assistant Professor of English and Drama at New York University) & Designer Heung Heung Chin (chief designer for John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint) – I could not have done this without you.

A Benefit for Jajouka

Filed under: Music
A benefit record produced by Billy Martin for Howe Records

A benefit record produced by Billy Martin for Howe Records





THE ROAD TO JAJOUKA is a musical tribute to the Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. The album features new performances and remixes by western ‘master’ musicians in support and celebration of Jajouka’s rich musical and cultural traditions.

Visit Facebook.com/TheRoadToJajouka for more information.

Listen to a sample track at Something Else! Reviews.


The 180 gram LP version will be available from Amulet Records in October.

Wicked Knee in Europe

Filed under: Amulet, Music, News, Wicked Knee

Wicked Knee is making waves all over Europe. Stream this live radio broadcast from Internationales Jazzfestival Münster. 

Podcast interview with Billy Martin about new record

Filed under: Amulet, Music, News, Wicked Knee

Lot’s of insight on Billy’s new record Heels over Head. Billy talks about his approach to composing with his brass-mates. Several tracks from the record are streaming with interview. Choose the ‘permalink’ for best sound quality. Thank you to Passing Notes’ Mark Hayes for the great interview.




My name is

Filed under: Uncategorized

My name is Billy Martin (aka illy B).
I am an experimental artist.
Most people know me as a drummer (Medeski Martin & Wood), teacher and composer.  I am also a visual artist and filmmaker.

Here you will find my record label catalog, visual exhibits and educational information available to sample and purchase.

I hope you enjoy your visit! – illy B

CW is an experimental short shot on 16mm film by Billy Martin

This is an exclusive bonus video only available in Medeski Martin & Wood’s personal documentary DVD “FLY IN A BOTTLE” (2010).

into 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized


  • A brand new record titled Heels over Head by Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee brass band is available January 8th 2013 on Amulet Records 
  • Composing and recording ‘A Festival of Percussion’ with my former students: the FANG percussion group and special guest Aiyb Dieng
  • Composing music for my second feature film Mirage (2013) by director Szabolcs Hajdu and starring Isaach De Bankolé.
  • Lots of live shows this year with MMW, Billy Martin/Wil Blades Duo and Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee
  • I am very excited to start writing and shooting a very personal film about all the great downtown NYC artists I know and love.
  • And hopefully I’ll find a little time to create some more paintings and drawings along the way!
  • oh yeah, I will be turning 50 years old this October and I hope to have a concert celebration with lots of dear friends in NYC.