Martin Ngim


Drummer extraordinaire Martin Ngim was born on 5th May 1977, a homegrown drummer bred in the bustle of the Kuala Lumpur city life. Describing himself as a "grave drummer" owing to his previous job as a mortician, he opted to quit his job in the funeral home after an incident involving a skeleton and a wild drumming session.

During the early part of the millennium, Martin was part of several different local Chinese rock/pop showbands, but came to experience an interesting musical epiphany when he got chosen to perform a drum duet with jazz-influenced drummer Akira Jimbo in a workshop. It was one his main exposures to the music known as Jazz. Further enquiry into the local jazz music scene led him to attendv various jazz performances and participated in laidback jam sessions with various jazz musicians in KL to gain experience and learn new things.

With his natural talent accompanied by his commitment to practicing and refining his technique, Martin possesses a crisp, clear sound on the drums, enabling him to harness the groove in every style he plays, be it funk, jazz, R&B, latin-jazz, pop et al. Martin cites his list of influences include Jojo Mayer (whom he was fortunate enough to have a brief tutelage under during Drumfest Singapore 2007), world-renowned afro-cuban drummer Horacio Hernandez, local drum legend Lewis Pragasam, and several others.

His beginning forays into jazz and the local jazz scene began, when he was called to play a jazz concert in UPM, with the JJ Jazz Ensemble (led by bassist Joseph Arnesto and Dr. Chan Cheong Jan), followed by several small-scale performances with various jazz musicians. Martin eventually became more active in the jazz scene in 2006, when he started joining The Happy People Quintet (now defunct, led by KL saxophonist Julian Chan), and shorly later on Julian's second project, called Boplicity. He also performs regularly with other jazz bands in town, such as Eye-2-Eye Jazz Mix, GruvAvenue, David Gomes, and has performed or recorded with various jazz and non-jazz artistes including Greg Lyons, Lewis Pragasam, Michael Veerapen, Rachel Guerzo, Jaclyn Victor, Chinese songstress Yudi, Vince Chong, Siti Nurhaliza, Yasin, Shanon Shah, Hunny Madu, and Fish Leong. Martin's career highlight so far has been performing with Eye-2-Eye Jazz Mix at the recent Malacca Strait Jazz Festival 2007 in Indonesia and rubbing shoulders with Indonesian icon Harry Toledo.