rootnotemusic.com is a blog to explore music with deep roots. I hope you will join me on a borderless sonic journey.


Since 2009, Rootnotemusic.com has been sharing music with deep roots – whether it be New Orleans funk or brass bands, classic blues, jazz, soul, Mexican rancheros, salsa, hip-hop, folk, Brazilian, classic country western, or Malian. The music featured is primarily that which derives directly from traditional music, or directly from a community with something to say, but the comment elements are that it sounds good and feeds the soul. Rootnotemusic.com always strives to tell a bit of history, digging a little deeper to find the story behind the music. Often, social justice is an an element of the music featured, however, a good melody and rhythm is never sacrificed.

Marina Martinez, the woman behind rootnotemusic.com, had a father from Honduras who introduced her to Latino boleros and folk music, protest music, and jazz and a mom and stepdad who played classic rock, blues, and soul. Growing up in Southern California, she was exposed to the world of hip-hop, dance music, Latin freestyle, rock, and ska, far away from the world of traditional music, but still entrenched with the way music can bring together communities or bubble up from community.

With a degree in Cultural Anthropology, a stint at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (home of Leadbelly and Woodie Guthrie among thousands others), and ten years as the American Roots genre manager at the Grammy Awards, as well as many years spent in clubs and house parties and obsessively scouring records and stalking DJs to find out their playlists, Marina is dedicated to bringing readers (and listeners) the most in depth information and history about any music she presents.

Currently, Marina is spreading her crafting and entrepreneurial wings making decorative trays using artisanal materials including Mexican Talavera tiles, hand-painted by master Mexican craftsmen, at The Cozy Casita. She is very passionate about health, surfing, social justice, bright cozy colors, and preserving and building community. You can get in touch with her at rootnotemusic@gmail.com.


Photo is Congress Street in Austin, Texas by Melanie Martinez.

root (ro̵̅o̅t, ro̵ot)


  1. the part of a plant, usually below the ground, that lacks nodes, shoots, and leaves, holds the plant in position, draws water and nourishment from the soil, and stores food
  2. the source, origin, or cause of an action, quality, condition, etc.
  3. a person or family that has many descendants; ancestor
  4. the close ties one has with some place or people as through birth, upbringing, long and sympathetic association, etc.
  5. an essential or basic part; core the root of the matter
  6. a number that, when substituted for the unknown quantity in an equation, will satisfy the equation
  7. the basic tone of a chord, on which the chord is constructed; often, the fundamental
  8. the fundamental element of a word or form, exclusive of all affixes and inflectional phonetic changes


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Like your material. I cover all kinds of live music in Austin. I bookmarked your page, but I must be retarded or smt, b/c I cannot figure out how to subscribe. LOL!

    • Thanks Greg! I’ll go ahead and link to your page on the blog roll/list! I haven’t gotten to the email subscribe level yet, but you subscribe through a feed reader on gmail or some other similar type reader. Here’s a couple of links as to how to do that! I use google reader to suscribe to tons of blogs and its great because you can see a snapshot of all blogs you want to follow and what’s updated, etc:


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