“He commands technical facility as a bass trombonist…executes the material on both discs with conviction…his attack is agile and his sound robust…”
Bass trombonist and Global Music Award Gold Medal Winner Martin McCain’s career as a musician spans an impressive scope of genres. A third-generation musician, he maintains a versatile performance schedule as a soloist, chamber, orchestral and jazz/commercial musician. According to the International Trombone Association Journal, his playing has been described as "solid and masterful". McCain has appeared with numerous ensembles and has been a performer and clinician throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on Austin’s 89.5 KMFA, Tucson’s 90.5 KUAT, Chicago's 88.5 WHPK, Toronto's 98.5 CKRW and Hong Kong's RTHK 4 radio stations. Martin has appeared as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival, The Great American Brass Band Festival, Brazilian Trombone Festival, Zagreb Brass Festival and the American Trombone Workshop. He is the leader of the award-winning jazz trombone ensemble JazzBonez and a member of the highly acclaimed Minor 4th Trombone Quartet. Martin regularly performs in recital programs both as a soloist and as the McCain Duo with his wife, pianist Artina McCain. He is currently bass trombonist with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly appears with the San Antonio Symphony and Austin Symphony in addition to several summer festival orchestras. He has also performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Opera, Austin Opera, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Meridian Symphony, Gulfport Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Symphony Orchestra and Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. As a jazz musician, he performs with the NOW Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Inc. Big Band and other commercial touring ensembles. Last season, McCain performed in Boston, Louisiana, Brazil, Italy and Hong Kong. His 2016-2017 season will include various performances in concert series and universities throughout Texas, appearances in Boston, Washington DC, New York, Toronto, Hawaii and Columbia in addition to a CD release.
Martin was a prize - winner twice in both the International Trombone Association's Donald Yaxley Solo Bass Trombone Competition and Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and twice in both of the Eastern Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition and Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. He performed the bass trombone world premiere of Joseph Spaniola's arrangement of Alexey Lebedev's Concerto No. 1 for Bass Trombone and Wind Band with the Symphonic Winds of the Croatian Armed Forces. In addition to being heard on various recordings on the Summit Records, Naxos, Mark Custom, Equilibrium and Longhorn Record labels, Martin has released three solo CDs Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live! (2012), Shades (2014) and Trombone Czar: The Extended Version (2015) on his independent record label Kairoi Music. He is a four-time winner of the Global Music Awards, receiving a Bronze Medal for the CD Shades, two Silver Medals for the CD Trombone Czar and as an Emerging Artist and a Gold Medal for Best Instrumentalist. Martin was also featured in a recent edition of Billboard magazine.
Martin is an Associate Professor of Trombone at Texas State University where he directs the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles. Under his direction, the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles have been invited to perform at the International Trombone Festival, American Trombone Workshop, Big 12 Trombone Conference and Texas Music Educators Association Convention on numerous occasions and have released two commercial recordings. Dr. McCain’s students have also been extremely successful in solo and ensemble competitions including the International Trombone Association competitions, the American Trombone Workshop competitions and the Big 12 Trombone Solo Competitions. In recognition for his teaching, McCain received the Presidential Award of Excellence in Teaching for the College of Fine Arts and Communications. Dr. McCain is also the founder/director of the Texas State Trombone Symposium. He previously taught at Henderson State University and Huston-Tillotson University. In addition to his duties at Texas State, Martin is on the faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Center Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and the SliderAsia International Music Festival.
An active member of the International Trombone Association, McCain serves as the Events Coordinator and Affiliate Societies Manager for the ITA and state representative for the ITA TAPAS (Trombone Artists Performing for Amateurs and Students) Project. Martin writes CD reviews and articles for the ITA's quarterly Journal. He has also contributed articles for the New Grove Dictionary of American Musicians and the Glissando Magazine. A promoter of music education in the public schools, McCain is the co-director for “Raise The Bar” a concert series dedicated to educating young classical music audiences. Martin has been selected to choose the All-State bass trombone repertoire for the state of Texas on numerous occasions and has presented performance clinics on the jazz and classical etudes at the Texas Bandmaster’s Association Convention.
McCain holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A. and M.M.) and The University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.). His primary teachers are Nathaniel Brickens, Marta Hofacre, Greg Luscombe and Loy Hetrick with additional studies with Mark Vail, Charles Villarubia, Stefan Sanders, Doug Yeo, John Rojak, Tom Riccibono, Bill Zeufuss, Richard Brady, Randy Hawes, and Charles Vernon.
Martin McCain is a performing artist for Michael Rath Trombones, Reunion Blues and plays on the “McCain” signature model mouthpiece manufactured by Pickett Brass. He is also an affiliate of AirTurn and The GigEasy.