‘Cats Walk is a segment that will highlight Texas State students. Web Editor Monica Vargas will talk to a different Bobcat about school, self-love and Texas State.
For this segment, Monica interviewed Jonathan Martinez, a music junior. Jonathan plays the trumpet in four bands for Texas State including Mariachi Nuevo Generación, Salsa Orquesta del Rio, Bobcat Marching Band and TXST Wind Symphony.
Jonathan Martinez’s favorite quote: “Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.” -Unknown
Vargas: What got you into playing the trumpet and at what age did you start playing mariachi music?
Jonathan Martinez: I found music as a great hobby when I was in middle school, and really enjoyed playing music as it is a big part of my Hispanic roots. In my culture from Mexico, we love to celebrate life events through music which includes quinceañeras, weddings, birthdays, family gatherings and parties. I get to be a part of adding joy to their lives through music by being in mariachi.
After years of practicing and playing the trumpet, eventually, after high school, I started to get gigs I could give my time to.
Vargas: Tell me about your first performance in a mariachi group.
Jonathan Martinez: In Laredo, Texas, my 8th-grade middle school, we had a really unique performance where all the mariachi groups from all the diverse middle schools collaborated in a large concert for the region. That concert really inspired me. I had so much fun playing music. I knew that was something I always wanted to be a part of.
Vargas: After your first performance, how long did you stick with playing an instrument? Was it always the trumpet?
Jonathan Martinez: Growing up, my brothers have always played percussion instruments. I originally wanted to play percussion but always ended up playing the trumpet; I just kept growing with it. After my first concert and competitions playing the trumpet is when I started to get more passionate about playing it.
Vargas: What is your schedule like being in four bands and balancing all your classes and your personal life?
Jonathan Martinez: I’m literally always consumed in music from practicing music, reading music, learning new songs for music performances and even side gigs.
I wake up early every morning even if I go to bed late. I make sure to be on time for my commitments. Monday through Friday, and with all the concerts, I spend well over 40 hours a week playing music.
Personally, it’s very rewarding working alongside all the other talented musicians as we perform. It’s truly so much fun giving my contributions to the community, and all the families I get to perform for, which include many of their life events.
In my personal life and time, I like to play my PlayStation 4 and work on my Mustang when time frees up. I also enjoy salsa and Latin dancing.
Vargas: Tell me about your family.
Jonathan Martinez: I am originally from Laredo, Texas, bilingual, and I chose to come to Texas State because of the great music program it offers, specifically for Latin music. I enjoy walking in the Music Building and hearing all the ensembles. Also, my musician friends here keep me accountable to my musical commitments, and for the good in my personal life in healthy ways.
My family is from Rio Bravo, Mexico, and Anahuac, Texas. I am a first-generation student and the second youngest of four brothers and one sister. They support me in the American dream of making things happen.
Vargas: What are your goals in music?
Jonathan Martinez: I dream of having a recording studio of my own. I want to help support local and start-up musician bands with their first albums and promote their music, specifically for the south Texas region since that is where I am originally from.
Currently, I am learning how to teach music from elementary to high school. Teaching music is another part of my dream and commitment.
Vargas: Tell me three things you love about yourself.
Jonathan Martinez: I love that I have an open mind to learn new things and learn from diverse people old and young, that is from any culture. I’m teachable. I love that I’m very disciplined and punctual. I love that I’m a visionary. When I want something, I focus, commit and make it happen.
Vargas: Who is your favorite musician?
Jonathan Martinez: Elmer Churampi, a trumpet player from Peru.
Vargas: Favorite singer and favorite concert?
Jonathan Martinez: Vincente Fernandez, a Mexican singer-songwriter. For the concert, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan.
Vargas: Favorite song?
Jonathan Martinez: “Mi Pais” by Mariachi Vargas.
Vargas: Any advice you want to give or insight to share with others?
Jonathan Martinez: Get up, dress up, show up, and be diligent. Don’t quit what you are committed to.
Jonathan Martinez’s Instagram: @jonathanmtz26
To keep up with students featured in ‘Cats Walk, visit The University Star’s Instagram @universitystar.