Billy Martin grew up in New York City. His mother, a professional dancer, had him tapdancing to vinyl before he was 11, when he moved with his parents to a New Jersey suburb. From there, he caught hip hop in its primordial stages coming over the NYC airwaves, adjusting his dial to keep up with the nebulous genre as it self-adjusted its evolution. His dad--a classical violinist busied with studio work and the New York City Ballet--toted him to sessions in the city with Stan Getz and Ennio Morricone, and the sound of music became Billy's fascination as his father, a hi-fi hobbyist, built custom stereos for Leonard Bernstein. Billy went "clubbing" in NYC as a teenager, using the freeform dance as "a way to discover myself and to get creative." Somewhere between all of that, Led Zeppelin and a love for jazz and African music that bloomed late in high school, Billy's unique, expansive drumming voice emerged. Multiply that unusual story by three, and put it onstage as the sometimes goofy, always eclectic Medeski, Martin & Wood. This isn't a jam band, folks: This a top-notch trio built on free-jazz schooling and international funk capabilities. Incendiary organ-based quartet Soulive gets it started. Buy tickets immediately.
Lincoln Theatre, Sunday, Nov. 21, 8:30 p.m. $22 in advance, $25 day of show.