Texas keyboardist, producer, and songwriter Shaun Martin is a Grammy-winning artist whose adept, jazz-trained chops have found him working in a variety of styles from instrumental jazz to gospel to hip-hop and R&B. A native of Dallas, Martin first began playing music around age four, studying classical and jazz piano. As a teenager, he attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts, where he joined the ranks of such alumni as trumpeter Roy Hargrove and vocalist Erykah Badu (the latter a future collaborator). After high school, he attended Weatherford College and the University of North Texas where he earned his Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences. After graduating college, Martin established himself as an in-demand studio musician and collaborator.
In the late '90s, he began what would become a longtime association with Kirk Franklin, working as the gospel artist's musical director. Martin's profile grew even bigger after performing and co-writing with Badu for her sophomore album, 2000's Mama's Gun. Since then, he has either produced, recorded and/or toured with a bevy of name artists including Timbaland, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, and others. With Franklin, Martin has won three Best Album Grammys, including one for 2011's gold-certified Hello Fear. In 2014, Martin took home a fourth Grammy, this time for Best R&B Performance with the experimental outfit Snarky Puppy, of which he has been a member since 2010's Tell Your Friends. When not on tour, Martin also serves as Minister of Music at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas. In 2015, Martin released his debut solo album, the largely instrumental, jazz-infused, 7 Summers. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi