Veteran professional musician, songwriter, band leader, Founder and Music Director for Samz School of Music, Sam Martinez is a Salinas native and mentor for many of Salinas Valley’s top young bands and musicians. With more than thirty years of experience performing and teaching music, Sam is widely regarded as a consummate and energetic performer. His original band “Kachabeat” was awarded “One of San Diego’s Top Original Bands” and recorded a hit single “Jah Beat the Devil” on the “Musician’s Who Care” album by BMI Productions out of Los Angeles. In the early 1990’s, when it came time to raise a family he returned to his home town of Salinas where he formed the well-known “Chicano All Stars Band.” Since then, the Chicano All Stars have become one of Monterey County’s most popular Latin Rock, R & B dance bands. The band currently performs a variety of live music venues, outdoor festivals, corporate events, community fundraisers and private events. Over the years, Sam has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with other great musicians such as: Tierra, Malo, El Chicano, Tower of Power, Jorge Santana with Suave, Richard Bean and SAPO, LAVA Latin Rhythms, Eddie Money, Maria Maldaur, Lydia Pense & Cold Blood, Sista Monica, John Broadway Tucker and other great musicians. Although Sam believes that “Teaching what you know to the next generation is like the final frontier in a performing career,” the truth is that Sam has been sharing his musical knowledge and experience with young musicians since he was a young musician himself. Sam has been quoted, “Music is my life. I live and breathe music 24 hours a day.” Through his own recording studio, “Sam’s Lab Recording” he has helped out countless numbers of young talented musicians by giving them opportunities to perform, coaching them on performance techniques, providing band rehearsal space and resources to help get young bands started. Sam was employed in Product Specialist/Sales at Gadsby’s Music Store in Salinas for many years until the family-owned business closed in March, 2009. He has been a member of the National Association of Musicians Merchants (NAMM) and has been a buyer for musical instruments for the past thirty years. Sam also taught drums through the Monterey Arts Council at various schools in the Monterey County area. He has traveled to San Diego and Ventura County to teach kids there as well. Sam has been involved with the Salinas Youth Council, judging for the Battle of the Bands and other local youth organizations such as “Youth in Motion” based out of South Monterey County. For years, Sam had been dreaming of wanting to start a rock music performance school that could reach out to as many kids as possible. His passion has always been to work with kids and help them fulfill their musical dreams. Now that Samz School is moving forward, there is nothing to stop Sam’s enthusiasm in accomplishing his dream and fulfilling the musical dreams for many children!
Devon has studied music for 10 years, and has performed with various groups in the Salinas area and elsewhere. He has studied under some of the area’s finest instructors in the fields of private instrumental instruction, Classical and contemporary music theory, and modern recording/production. After attending Samz School of Rock as a student during the camp’s first year, Devon returned as a volunteer in 2011, teaching students and assisting around the camp. After releasing his album Into the Storm, Devon moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied advanced music theory, songwriting, and contemporary music production. After returning to California, Devon has continued to write, record, and perform in the Monterey area, and is available for guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum lessons, specializing in the genres of rock, metal, jazz, blues, and pop, as well as classical piano.
Taking up interest in music during his early teen years, Alex was fascinated by guitar heroes of classic rock, and knew the guitar would be his key to journey into music. Starting off with a black fender squire guitar, Alex immersed himself in bands such as, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, and Yngwie Malmsteen. It was his admiration for those guitar players that made Alex want to study classical music. After having learned the best he could from the internet about rock guitar, Alex enrolled in a classical guitar class at the local community college to further his technique. He was one of the few students to pass all 4 levels and develop a love for baroque music and it’s composers, Bach and Vivaldi. Alex decided to pursue music as his career. He soon enrolled and got admitted to Musicians Institute guitar degree program and moved to the big city of Los Angeles. He studied with some of the top players in L.A. and learned what it takes to perform and master the guitar. Alex soon found himself performing around clubs in L.A. while at the same time teaching guitar lessons. Being heavily influence by rock and classical music, he now combines the two to play neoclassical metal, but also enjoys playing some Blues music. Alex is now exploring the audio engineering side of music and is attending Berklee Online where he is working on his BA in Music Production.
Randy Started his musical career at age 9 when he joined his elementary school band playing drums and soon after, began taking private lessons from John Orzel of the Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Cruz Symphony. He got his first drum set age 10 and pursued his musical career studying jazz / fusion and orchestra at Washington Middle School with MS. Carroll orchestra/jazz instructor. He formed his first rock band “After Dark” at age 13, playing small school events and birthday parties, gaining recognition in the Salinas Californian as “The next generation of rising stars” and awarded a Certificate Of Recognition in Musical Excellence, as well as being dubbed “Randy The Rhythm King” by his instructors.
In high school He joined the Salinas High School Concert band / Orchestra, Jazz Band, Marching Band and Drumline, traveling throughout CA and NV competing in national band reviews and ranking very highly in the group and individual reviews placing top 5 in marching and performance focusing on Snare, Bass and Tenor Drums on several occasions. He took Guitar 1-2 and Music Appreciation progressing to teachers aid, studying under Joe Johnson (director) and Rudy Quincy (Drum instructor / member of Santa Clara Vanguard Marching Ensemble) by his senior year. He was given the opportunity to study with Omar Green (Concord Blue Devils Drumline instructor / Drum Core Int. Competition top 5 ranking 3 consecutive years) focusing on rudiments and technique.
In 1996, his band “Waste Basket,” his first time as front man and guitar player took 2nd place in Salinas High Schools Battle of the bands. Back on drums, his band “Stick Figures” won 1st place in 1997 and 1998. He also played ska guitar with “3 Times The Refreshment” in 1996 and punk/ska guitar with “LSC 151” in 1997.
In 1999 He formed his punk/rock band “Hate For State” playing the bass guitar. He recorded and produced their first demo CD in his home studio in 2000 as well as their second demo release in 2003. After losing their Lead vocalist in 2004, Randy stepped in and took over vocal duties just before entering the studio to record their 2005 releases “Padded Room” and “Moving On.” In the summer of 2007 Hate For State went on tour to support their first full length album “Just Begun” recorded at Greystone Studios by Richard Brian (formerly of “Doobie Brothers and Chaka Khan) released in 2007 on indie label Knife Records. Traveling through NV, AZ, NM and TX stopping to play venues along the way and were asked to come back the following summer in 2008 and have since traveled several times to the East Coast and back. They released “Face Plant” in 2013 and “Nothing”s Real” in 2017, both also released thru Knife Records and can be found on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon and many more. Hate For State has placed top 5 in “Your Music Magazines Band Olympics” 4 years in a row and also performed live on AMP TV on several occasions, at “The End ’05 Film release party” and has been featured in many publications including: “Your Music Magazine,” “Salinas Californian” and “Monterey County Weekly”
In 2009 Randy began studies in Funk and Fusion Bass with Brian Gautier (Advanced Bass Instructor / Solo Artist) learning Slap / Pop technique, Melodic Theory and right hand technique. For beginning to advanced bass guitar and drum technique check him out at www.youtube.com/tyeemilesguitar, and www.youtube.com/punkgumby.