Throughout a career spanning over thirty five years Martin France has performed and recorded with some of the world’s finest and creative musicians. He has performed in all five continents including concerts and tours in over forty countries worldwide. He is currently Professor of Jazz – Drums/Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Martin began performing at the age of twelve backing singers in Working Men’s clubs with Organ trios in and around Manchester in the North of England. He studied under Geoff Riley, Kenny Clare and Richard Smith – Principal Percussionist with the Halle Orchestra. After moving to London in 1983 he began his recording career performing on several records for Manfred Eicher’s ECM label. He has since gone on to record over one hundred CD’s for a variety of different artists since his ECM debut.
He has been invited to perform with many orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Liverpool Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Radio Big Band, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, ASKO Ensemble – Amsterdam, Danish Radio Big Band – Copenhagen, HR Big Band – Frankfurt, WDR Symphony Orchestra – Cologne, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra,The European Jazz Orchestra – Portugal. He is also a regular performer with NDR Big Band in Hamburg.
He has been active for many years as a studio musician in London performing on numerous recording sessions with many of the world’s leading composers, conductors and arrangers for both European and American Film and TV productions. He is also involved in composing music for KPM/EMI Music in London, the music from which has been used extensively for worldwide TV and commercial broadcast.
Along the way Martin has performed and recorded with some of the world’s most diverse and finest musicians including Elvis Costello, Evan Parker, David Gilmour, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Towner, John Dankworth, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Arild Anderson, Mark Johnson, Steve Swallow, Bob Mintzer and The Yellowjackets, Norma Winstone, Nils-Petter Molvaer, Bugge Wesseltoft, Arve Henriksen, Mike Gibbs, Maria Schneider, Gwilym Simcock, Sidsel Endresen, John Paul Jones, Stephen Warbeck, Anders Jormin, Victor Bailey, Eivind Aarset, J. Peter Schwalm, Charles Hazelwood, Palle Danielsson, June Tabor, Claire Martin, Dave McKean, David Binney, Adam Rogers, Django Bates, Jason Rebello, Joanna MacGregor, Liane Carroll, Charlie Mariano, Charles Hazlewood, Paul Englishby, John Surman, Joe Lovano and Mark Feldman to name but a few.
His pioneering use of electronic and sequenced Drums/Percussion has resulted in performances and recording sessions for many contrasting musical projects for a variety of artists. He has also released two critically acclaimed CD’s with his own band – Spin Marvel. They recently performed a “return” performance at Cheltenham Jazz Festival in the UK with the line up featuring amongst others Nils-Petter Molvaer (tpt) and John Paul Jones (bass) of Led Zeppelin fame.