Mass drummer has Grammy-worthy influence


All-school Masses are arguably one of the liveliest monthly occurrences at Marian. The loud, soulful music with a jazz twist is something many girls look forward to. Behind the drums at these Masses is Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame member, Ernest “Curly” Martin, father and counterpart of Grammy nominee, Terrace Martin.

Los Angeles-based music producer, musician and songwriter Terrace Martin is credited for producing Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.”

This album was not only praised by David Bowie, but also withholds President Obama’s favorite song of 2015, “How Much A Dollar Cost.” “To Pimp A Butterfly” won “Best Rap Album” and was also a nominee for “Album of the Year” at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

“Terrace won two Grammy awards for his contributions to longtime collaborator Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly,” Marian Liturgical Minister Mrs. Anna Kolterman said.

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To the beat of his own drum “Curly” Martin plays the drums at the Servants of Mary Mass on Sept. 15. He, along with Nate Bray and Mark Nelson, provide instrumental background to the Worship Choir at nearly every Mass. carmenmiller

Terrace has also produced records for several acclaimed artists including Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Charlie Wilson, YG and many others.

“Terrace Martin is a maestro of the margins, the sort of musician who’s often at his most effective just on the edges of the frame,” The New York Times writer Nate Chinen said.

“After I was working on the Kendrick album, I needed a break from Los Angeles. I just needed different scenery. Me and a couple of amazing other producers and musicians all flew down to Omaha, Nebraska, to meet my father [Curly],” Terrace said in an interview with MTV in April 2016. “We all got a giant loft in downtown Omaha. We lived there and wrote songs every day and just ate good food and talked. Just lived life in Nebraska where it was clean, where it was quiet. I got a chance to think about life. One of the reasons I wanted to be with my father was because I almost lost him to pneumonia. It took that [situation] to remind me how great he was as a musician.”

“Curly contributed on the album,” Kolterman said. “He played drums [for] some of the songs for the album.”

On April 1, the multi-instrumentalist released his sixth album, “Velvet Portraits.” Recorded in Los Angeles and Omaha, drummer Curly Martin and renowned soul group, “The Emotions” were featured in this album.

“I received a text message from Curly: ‘Velvet Portraits just got nominated for RB album of the year. God is good,’” Kolterman said.

“Velvet Portraits” was nominated for “Best R&B Album” at the 59th Grammy Awards, taking place on Feb. 12. Previous nominees in this category include Alicia Keys, John Legend, Mary J. Blige and Boyz II Men. “Lalah Hathaway Live” by Lalah Hathaway won the Grammy in this category.

Among the 14 songs on this album, one song is named after Terrace’s father, “Curly Martin.” “He’s one of my favorite drummers in the world,” Terrace told MTV. “With my father being a jazz musician, he’d always turn me onto different records, like John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker.On a lot of these records, on the back of the records, they would have credits. . . I realized one of my favorites was [drummer] Billy Higgins, and he happened to be from Los Angeles. And my father introduced me to him,” Terrace said in an interview with David Drake from The Fader.

“All my life I never thought about using my father on a record, but when I put him on [‘Velvet Portraits’], a whole ‘nother level of connection and spirituality just came out the music. I was like, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!’”

In addition to working with Herbie Hancock, Terrace is currently producing albums for Fergie, YG, SZA.

“This is a great honor,” Martin said.

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