Edreys Wajed -
Table of Contents .... ........................
Fall, NY - Table of Contents
"John 'Spider' Martin" mural, 2019
Main Street and Depot Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY
Adjacent to the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
By Edreys Wajed
Main at Depot Streets murals ...
$160K project funded by New York State Health Foundation’s Building Healthy Communities Program, led by Niagara Falls National Heritage Area as part of public art initiative in 2019 ...
Murals are intended to convey messages of hope and freedom, the Highland Community
Large text: YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME BABE ... Details, from left to right:
"Sweet Jennie Lou," popularized by Gene Ammons
ExcerptsJohn W. "Spider" Martin Jr., a Niagara Falls saxophonist who wowed the local nightclub scene and played with jazz greats like Lionel Hampton, died Friday (April 21, 2000) in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 68.
JOHN W. MARTIN, SAXOPHONIST WHO PLAYED WITH JAZZ GREATS, DIES AT AGE 68
By DOUGLAS TURNER AND KEVIN COLLISON
The Buffalo News, April 23, 2000
Martin was born in Asheville, N.C. and moved to Niagara Falls at an early age. He completed his education in preparatory music studies in the Falls and later attended the Manhattan School of Music for a short time.
As a young musician, Martin traveled with the Lionel Hampton big band. He also worked for top recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Etta Jones and Wilson Picket.
Other musicians he performed with were Jimmy McGriff, "Philly" Joe Jones, John "Hammond" Smith, Dizzy Gillispie, Ramsey Lewis, Tony Bennett and Nat Adderly. He also played at the Newport Jazz Festival, Art Park Jazz and Hollywood Jazz Festivals.
Pappy Martin said his brother got his nickname after the song "The Spider" by Johnny Griffin.
In later years, Martin spent much of his time in Florida, where he taught music at the University of Miami, and Dallas, Texas. He returned to Buffalo about 1 1/2 years ago and played regular gigs at the Humboldt Inn.
He was a mentor to many students and was commissioned to compose, orchestrate and perform with both the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonic orchestras.