Martin Luther McCoy

Martin Luther is a soul singer with an un-compromised vision who, via his unique brand of rebel soul music, uses his raspy tenor voice to captivate audiences from small intimate night clubs all the way to the big screen. Recognized as one of San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere talents, he has always presented a distinct blend of jazz funk fusion and more recently served as lead vocalist for the SFJazz Collective. Fiercely creative, he curates a multi genre platform for black excellence through a performance art ensemble called Moon Medicin and as a producer and songwriter, Luther has remained focused recording a new album set to be released summer 2023 called Black Wonderful.

Raised in the ways of the gospel church, Martin began singing at an early age but the deeper purpose for his gift was revealed after losing two record deals and learning to produce and release his own music independently, ensuring he would not be forced to compromise his vision. Five LP’s later and after cutting his teeth on tour with music industry heavy weights, Luther has prepared a head nodding “classic modern funk’’ sound.

Before and post pandemic, Martin Luther has continued to record and release music like the sizzling rnb song “Now”, on his own Rebel Soul Records imprint as well as a number of dance floor thumpers like “Back Tonight” produced by longtime collaborator and international selector, Miguel Migs. A former member of the iconic hip hop group The Roots, Martin’s wide range would eventually land him the job as first lead vocalist hired to join the critically acclaimed and fiercely instrumental, SFJAZZ Collective (2019). “I tend to focus less on what is expected of an artist by the audience and point my attention towards that exciting edge of the unknown, the undone is where it’s at.” Never shying away from paying homage to his influences, Martin has also enjoyed performing to sold out audiences where he reimagines the music of legends like Marvin Gaye, Sade and Otis Redding.

Martin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College where he majored in Mass Communication with a focus on cinematography and media arts. As an actor, McCoy is most remembered for his break out role of a Jimi Hendrix inspired character named “JoJo” in the motion picture ‘Across the Universe’ (Sony/Columbia), directed by Julie Taymor. He has been seen and heard in commercials, on theatre stages, and on soundtracks like Chasing Liberty and Dave Chapelle’s Block Party and more recently contributing original music to the score of “The Oracle" by interdisciplinary visual artist and Moon Medicin co-founder, Sanford Biggers. As writer and co-visionary, he fronts Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual arts and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated sound effects and video. Moon Medicin performed at Open Spaces Kansas City in October 2018 and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in April 2019.

Martin and his team of collaborators has contributed original music for multiple soundtracks and for product launches for international athletic brands like Diadora as well consumer electronics giant JayBird. In 2018 he was cast to portray the role of ‘Musician’ in Suzanne Lori Park’s Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1,2,3 for Yale Rep/ American Conservatory Theater. Martin’s music and theatrical performance mixed with visual media was a feature in Zaccho Dance Theater’s 2019 Picture Bayview Hunters Point (Picture), an interdisciplinary site-specific work, focused on the dreams and aspirations of San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point residents as the neighborhood undergoes a period of economic and demographic change.

In 2022 Martin was one of four recipients for Zaccho Dance Theater’s Black Futures Residency where his works were experienced live at both MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) and the SFJazz center.

Blessed with a multi platinum selling voice, Martin has performed and or recorded with a varied and rich list of unlikely collaborators like The Oakland Symphony, Too Short, Dave Chappelle, Locksmith, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ricky Miner, The Roots, Zion I, Rass Kass, Bun B, Nappy Roots, SFJazz Collective, Avery Sunshine, Ice Cube, DJ Rich Medina, Maimouna Youssef, Miguel Migs, Robert Glasper, Jahi Sundance, Planet Asia, Elliot Goldenthal, Dead Prez, Stic Man, Brian Jackson, DJ Toure, Blackalicious, Yale School of Drama.

Martin Luther was nominated in the first cycle of musicians honored as a recipient of San Jose Jazz Aid Fund where he will produce and perform a new work in 2023.

Black Wonderful is the new sound and the name of the new LP. Conjuring the concept for the project and cooking up its new wave funk soul sound since the onset of the pandemic, this body of work represents bold sonic landscapes that blend cosmological lyricism with beautiful harmony and hip shaking soul steeped grooves that exemplify why Martin Luther is indeed the real McCoy.