Sam A. Martinez

Founder, Music Director

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!