performing in NYC
Ross Martin, Guitarist

Life in New York City as a Performing Musician – Ross Martin


What does it take to make it as a performing musician in New York City? Ross shares his journey from college in Texas to living in Colorado and then New York City. He’s maintained a career during all of these years as a performing artist, working with other musicians in festivals and other performance venues.

Ross shares with us his current projects during the COVID shutdown, his tips for practicing, and what it takes to establish yourself in a large city such as New York. If you’ve ever wondered how you could make a living performing the music that you love, this is the podcast episode to listen to!


Guitarist Ross Martin has performed in concert halls, honky-tonks, theaters, rock clubs, living rooms, on festival stages, television programs and everywhere in between. He grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, TX, with brief stints in East Tennessee, attended the University of North Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, then headed west. After ten years in the front range area of Colorado, he relocated to the east coast and has lived in Brooklyn, NY for the past ten years. 

His musical path has covered as much territory as his physical one. Reflecting his love of diverse genres like jazz, bluegrass, country, folk, experimental, and classical music, Ross has always felt at home with fellow musicians who seek to reconcile, through their music, the incredible wealth of styles available to listeners in this global and digital age. He has toured and performed with a wide range of artists including Matt Flinner, Darol Anger, Tony Furtado, Jacob Jolliff, Ron Miles, Mollie O’Brien, The Motet, Caroline Herring, Dwele, Sonya Kitchell, and many others.

Ross, along with bassist Eric Thorin, has been a member of the Matt Flinner Trio for the past eleven years. Known in acoustic circles for his groundbreaking mandolin work, Matt developed a unique concept for the group: All three band members write a tune each day while on tour and perform it that evening. After several tours, they picked twelve of their favorite tunes and recorded them. The result was “Music du Jour” which was released on Compass Records in April, 2009.  Since then, the Trio has produced two more recordings of Music du Jour compositions: “Winter Harvest” (2012) and “Traveling Roots” (2016).

Music education plays an important role in Ross’ professional life. He maintains a private guitar studio and is a sought-after instructor at workshops and music camps.  He’s been on the staff at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Camp, Rockygrass Academy, Montana Fiddle Camp, and Great Lakes Music Camp, among others, and regularly facilitates clinics at educational institutions across the United States.  

Ross’ solo album, “Volley”, features his original compositions and electric guitar playing. He also recently released a duo recording with acoustic guitarist Grant Gordy titled “Year of the Dog”. He performs frequently throughout the New York City area, and tours nationally and internationally with various projects. 

Ross Martin is a guitarist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. He performs and records regularly, both as a solo artist and collaborator, with Grant Gordy, Matt Flinner, Ron Miles, Darol Anger, and many others from the roots music and jazz worlds. Currently, Ross can be heard subbing on Broadway in the Tony Award®-winning musical Hadestown. He is also a dedicated instructor; he teaches at Bluegrass and roots music camps all over the US, and maintains an active guitar studio. More information is available at 

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