Drummer extraordinaire Martin Ngim was born on 5th May 1977, a home grown drummer bred in the bustle of the Kuala Lumpur city life. Describing himself as a "drummer for thedead" owing to his previous job as a mortician, he opted toquit his job in the funeral home after an incident involving a skeleton and a wild drumming session.
During the early part of his drumming career, Martin started of several different local Chinese rock/pop show bands, but came to experience an interesting musical epiphany when he got chosen to perform a drum duet with jazz-influenced drummer Akira Jimbo (of the fusion band Casiopea fame) in a workshop. It was one of his main exposures to the music known as Jazz. Further enquiry into the local jazz musicscene led him to attend various jazz performances and participatedin 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 Malaysian 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 shortly 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, David Gomes, and has performed or recorded with various jazz and non-jazz artists including Greg Lyons, Lewis Pragasam, Michael Veerapen, Rachel Guerzo, Chinese songstress Yudi, Siti Nurhaliza, 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.
This summer, Martin played with Inner Voices, a group of new Malaysian contemporary ethnic ensemble. Together, they performed to a full-house showcase at KLPac. The performance entitled 'Let's Go Mamak! The Cultural Common Ground' which is written by Ken Hor gained wide recognition and received rave reviews from the public and media.
Martin has also worked with International jazz singers like James Flynn (Australia), Victoria Newton (Australia), Peter Grant (UK), Anita Wardell (UK), and Glenn Macnamara (UK) whilst they were performing in Alexis Bistro, Ampang.
For the past two years, Martin has been performing with Superband, a mandopop band formed by the 4 legendary singers Lo Ta-yu, Jonathan Lee, Wakin Chau and Chang Chen-yue. After giving forty eight performances around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, Las Vegas Mandalay Bay, Taipei Arena, Bukit Jalil Stadium, and major cities in China, Martin and Superband held their final concert in the Mohegan Sun arena in Connecticut, USA on Feb 22nd, 2010.
Being recognized for his talent and passion while performing on tour with Superband, Wakin Chau decided to embark Martin to join his solo world tour from September onwards until mid of 2010. Performing locations wise similar to Superband, Martin is currently performing alongside Wakin Chau in mainland China all the way to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and USA.
Martin has also joined with Chang Chen-yue from Taiwan for his solo world tour in 2012. Performing locations included Taiwan and 16 towns in China. Besides, Martin also performed with Fish Leong on tour in 2012.
Youtube: Martin Ngim