The son of two opera singers, Robert Martin was
trained as a classical French horn player at the
prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. There
he studied with Mason Jones, principle horn of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, and played week after week
under the greatest conductors in the world. He would
use that experience to good advantage when
transitioning into the realm of recording and world
tours with the upper echelon of pop music stars.
Before leaving Philadelphia, Robert played horn on
numerous hit records produced by the highly
successful writing team of Gamble, Huff and Bell.
Though his recording career began as a French horn
player, he would soon be recognized for his
prodigious skills as a keyboard player, sax player
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Robert used all those talents while recording and
touring with the successful pop group from
Woodstock, Orleans. He then auditioned for Frank
Zappa and performed on all of Frank's tours and live
albums from that time on. In between tours with
Zappa, he earned the position of Musical Director
for Bette Midler, and toured or performed with Paul
McCartney, Michael McDonald, Stevie Nicks, hornsBoz
Scaggs, Etta James (on tour with The Rolling
Stones), Patti LaBelle, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Loggins
and many others.
In addition to recording his own solo album for
MCA Records, Robert also recorded with Prince, the
Moody Blues, Lyle Lovett, Gladys Knight, Glenn Frey,
Bobby Caldwell, Michael Bolton, David Sanborn, The
Stylistics, The O'Jays, Sheila E, The Blues
Brothers, and a long list of other artists. Robert
played keyboards, , sang backing vocals,
arranged and co-produced Wilson Pickett's 1987
Grammy nominated album on Motown, “American Soul
Man.” That same year, he also broke into the inner
circle of L.A. commercial singers and sang on
numerous local and national spots for Ron Hicklin,
Don Piestrupp and Gary Ramal.
Since 1986, Robert has owned and operated his own
studio and branched out into programming,
engineering, mixing, mastering and producing music
for advertising, film and television. He composed
the music for the Emmy and Golden Globe
award-winning television show Cybill on CBS. He also
composed for Baywatch, Martial Law, and three
seasons of Lifetime Television’s Intimate Portrait
has become a featured performer at the annual
Zappanale festival in Bad Doberen, Germany, and also
performs throughout the year in numerous large-scale
concerts, running the gamut from country to rock
to full blown orchestral and chorale performances.
is equally at home in theatrical productions, having
worked four years with The Troubadour Theater
Company in Burbank and as Musical Director for
“Little Egypt” at The Matrix Theater in Hollywood
and at the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Robert Martin also presents live Master Classes with a
special focus on the advanced harmony and
theory of Frank Zappa. Having toured and
recorded with Zappa for many years and
undergone rigorous classical training
himself, Robert is uniquely qualified to
explain Frank’s approach, incorporating live
performance, visual examples and a lively
Q&A session to enhance the presentation.
With visionaries like Frank Zappa as a mentor,
Robert has delved ever further into the realms of
cutting edge technologies and musical sound design.
For him, the studio itself has become yet another
instrument among the many he already plays so well.
Photo Credit Haluk