Five Firsts: Brook Martinez of Brooklyn Qawwali Party

Brooklyn Qawwali Party
Brooklyn Qawwali Party

NAME: Brook Martinez
BAND AFFILIATION: Brooklyn Qawwali Party

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I can’t remember if it was Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” or Run DMC’s “Raising Hell,” but both were seriously exciting to have on cassette. I remember being both fascinated and a bit freaked out by Dee Snider eating a big nasty piece of meat on the cover. I also remember having the vinyl of MJ’s “Thriller” and how magical the cover art was with the baby tiger and all.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The first three concerts I saw: Miami Sound Machine, of course! I was obsessed with them. I loved Gloria and the whole crew. I must have been around six years old. Or eight.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Before the drum kit was a little electronic drum pad that I would play obsessively and try to figure out how drummers got all of the sound they did. Oh, but the first official instrument was the clarinet. After a debacled recital, that ended quickly. I was 10. The drum set came on my 12th birthday, I’ll never forget waking up to a big white sheet covering it up in the living room.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Well, I did a bunch of choir in grade school, but I don’t think that counts … until, that is, I was elected the captain of the HMS Pinafore and got a solo in fourth grade. That was exciting. On drums, my first performance was in front of the middle school. We played “Alive” by Pearl Jam, and I even got a drum solo! There was my vocal debut at that concert, too, “Sweet Emotions” by Aerosmith. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get my voice to sound like Steven Tyler’s. Now I understand I hadn’t hit puberty yet, late bloomer. I still can’t get my voice like his, but that’s ok.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … With my good friend Tim Kepner, now known as Bonesaw in the rockin’ band Full Service in Austin, we started a band. I think our first name was Thang Jam. Guitar and drums. I guess our official first band together was Clockwise, a full quartet. That happened in high school. We went our separate musical ways when college came but are still good friends.

Brook Martinez slips behind his drum kit for a pair of Nippertown shows with Brooklyn Qawwali Party this weekend – at 9pm on Friday at Club Helsinki in Hudson ($15) and at Proctors in Schenectady for the second installment of the Party Horns NYC concert series at 7:30pm on Saturday ($15).

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