John A. Martinez

Rhythm Intensive

Read More


…in the Bronx of New York City. I grew up in a Puerto Rican household surrounded by cousins and some aunts and uncles who were close to my age. My grandfather was a pastor of a storefront Pentecostal church where my mother played the drums. My earliest memories were those of music.


I attended the high school that was made famous by the movie Famewhere I was the first chair trumpet player in the school orchestra and jazz ensemble. As first chair I had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall with the New York All-City Orchestra on several occasions. My classmates and I performed at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and a group of my closets friends and I formed our own band and performed at CBGBs. I had gotten a music scholarship as a trumpet player, but that quickly dissolved when, out of the blue, I developed Bell’s Palsy and could no longer play my instrument. My career path suddenly shifted.


The summer I graduated high school I headed straight to college at Colgate University. It was an experience I will never forget. Being Puerto Rican with a distinct Bronx accent on a campus full of privileged, high society students, I felt sorely out of place. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not destined to become a lawyer. What I wanted to do most of all was play the drums. After a year at Colgate, I walked away from my full-ride scholarship and moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. I have been drumming and producing music ever since.


As a songwriting and publishing member of ASCAP, I founded Fingerfoot Music Productions (FMP) in 1999. The company is based in Dallas/Fort Worth. FMP provides songwriting, music and audio services to the music and media industries. In 2004, FMP joined forces with Singapore-based, Electric Muse, consultants and developers of original music and multimedia. By joining forces we sought to leverage the strength of both businesses.

FMP is also a recording studio that features the latest digital recording technology. We provide ideal or ‘live’ tracking in an acoustically tuned environment, making it suitable for a wide variety of musical styles. The combination of space, gear, great engineers, & producers makes our studio a one-stop shop for all audio and sound design needs.


In September 2014 I was honored by the RSA to become a Fellow. The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world. Fellows are elected to the Fellowship and must have demonstrated achievement related to the arts, manufactures and commerce.

“The RSA Fellowship is an international community of over 27,000 [since its founding in 1754] achievers and influencers from a wide array of backgrounds and professions, distinguished by the letters FRSA. Fellows are social entrepreneurs to scientists, community leaders to commercial innovators, artists and journalists to architects and engineers, and many more.”

Past members of the RSA include Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens, and William Wilberforce.


In 2015 I became a business mentor for a high school student who participated in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a program that is supported by the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce.

YEA! teaches and guides middle and high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. Developed by the University of Rochester in 2004 with a grant from the Kauffman Foundation YEA! has graduated almost 600 students over the past 7 years, who have started almost 450 businesses and social movements! YEA! graduates started as students, and left the program as CEOs of their own companies!


I have recorded or performed with Thomas Dolby, Kacey Musgraves, Bailey Brown, Ronnie Laws, Tom Browne, Neal McCoy, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker, the Bellamy Brothers, Collin Raye, Mark Wills, John Conlee, Johnny Lee, Janie Fricke, Billy Dean, Barbara Fairchild, Jesse Powell, Bill Tillman, Bernard Wright, Dennis Edwards & the Temptations, Larry Blackmon, Yarbrough & Peoples, Shelley Carroll, Russ Taff, Phil Driscoll, Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff, Kim Waters, Andy Timmons, Tim Ishii, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Don Johnson, Bobby Sparks, Alvin Slaughter, Buddy Miles, and the Johnnie High Country Music Revue TV Show. I am the drummer for T.G. Sheppard and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Band and drummer for the Chuck Rainey Coalition.

I have been a guest speaker or lecturer at Oxford University (United Kingdom), GM Financial Group, the Academy of Contemporary Music (London), the Collective School of Music (New York City), Dallas City Hall, the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce Dallas, International Leadership of Texas, International Conservatory of Music, University of Texas Arlington, Singapore Polytechnic, MediaTech Institute, the Sessions panel, and various elementary schools, high schools, and churches internationally.


Midwest Rhythm Summit wouldn't be possible without our amazing sponsors.

Become A Sponsor