Cedric Fisher - Our Music
Willie Martinez and
Liberty Band keep Ol' School Alive
San Antonio has a rich heritage and progressive music scene. Our Music will profile established and emerging musicians/groups and movements. The inaugural profile is of an old school, home town super band -- San Antonio’s own Liberty Band, and its lead singer, Willie Martinez.
Liberty Band is eight of the most unique, energetic and talented individuals from San Antonio. They’ve accommodated the ever-changing musical tastes of the general public and survived the ups and downs of the music industry with a 30 year reputation as one of the top “veteran” Tejano bands in Texas. Liberty Band is known to fans as “Old School” because of their oldies medley, versatility and their serious horn section.
The band was founded by Bobby Esquivel in 1977 who still leads the band. They’ve been nominated and received numerous awards in past years at the Tejano Music Awards. They won Best Texas local Band Award for 2005 at the Academy of Tejano Artist and Musicians Awards, and were nominated for Best Tejano Band in Texas for 2006 at the Premio Latino Awards. Liberty Band has 13 CD’S to their credit.
The band’s current lead singer is a dynamic, versatile, third generation musician named Willie Martinez. INFLUENCE met with Willie Martinez at his home studio.
INFLUENCE: Tell us about yourself?
Martinez: I’m 42 yrs old. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.
INFLUENCE: How long have you been a musician?
Martinez: I’ve been a musician since the tender age of 12. I’m third generation. My father as well as my grandfather and all my uncles were musicians. So I guess I came hard wired.
INFLUENCE: How long have you been with the Liberty Band?
Martinez: I’ve been lead vocalist for the last five years. I fronted them from 1996 till 2002.
INFLUENCE: What community groups or volunteer efforts are you associated with?
Martinez: I’ve performed for various non-profit organizations such as Lulac Community and other church functions; and the National Foundation for the Blind.
INFLUENCE: Who are your Mentors?
Martinez: Being in the music business and going thru the changes of life, I’ve been fortunate to have had lots of mentors. From radio DJ’s, to promoters to other fellow artists.
INFLUENCE: What do you do in your leisure time?
Martinez: Within the last ten years, I’ve picked up the guitar. I’m really into country music these days. I’m constantly playing either with my side project or with my primary band – The Liberty Band. I basically live in my home studio.
INFLUENCE: So “What’s on your nightstand” Willie?
Martinez: I’m currently reading the latest edition of Rolling Stone Magazine (I’m a subscriber).
INFLUENCE: What’s next for Willie Martinez? What are future goals?
Martinez: It’s wherever the music takes me -- a never ending journey. I’m in it for the long haul.
Listen to obscure covers performed acoustically by Willie Martinez at https://soundcloud.com/williemartinez23/
PRE-ORDER SPECIAL OFFER!
Sign up to receive stories, videos, and tips direct to your email.
Follow us on Facebook for breaking news, insider reviews, events, and videos!
Subscribe with us and receive 6 print editions for $14.95 ($20.00 value).
© 2015 SAN ANTONIO'S INFLUENCE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.