The 26th Annual PMLJ Fest Returns July 18 and Continues on July 25th. PAPPY WOULD BE PROUD!

Illustration by Edreys Wajed

Despite a major pandemic, his beloved jazz festival didn’t miss a beat last year thanks to a  successful virtual presentation.

This Sunday July 18 , under the dedicated and visionary guidance of his daughter Dawn Barry-Walker,   the Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival, now in its 26th consecutive year, returns to the side lawn of  the Buffalo Museum of Science  in  MLK Park  from 3-8 p.m. for five  hours of great  entertainment .

Featured  Sunday July 18th will be some of the area’s most talented  jazz  musicians and vocalists including  The Adrian Benton Band, George Caldwell,  Trigger and The Sermon, Drea D’Nur and Will Holton.   Terri Davis, former radio personality, will host this weekend’s event.

The party continues the following Sunday, July 25 opening with the  Love Supreme School of Music followed by national headliners such as the renowned Nat Reeves State of Emergency Band Featuring bassist extraordinaire, Nat Reeves; Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Rick Germanson (piano); Steve Davis (trombone); and Eric McPherson (drums).

Also performing  will be the phenomenal  Curtis Lundy and Umoja Featuring world-renowned bassist, Curtis Lundy; Orrin Evans (piano); Warren Wolf (vibraphone); Stacy Dillard (saxophone);  Brandee Younger (harp);and Terreon Gully (drums).

Rounding the headliners will be The Ron Carter Trio featuring the most recorded jazz bassist, Ron Carter; Russell Malone (guitar); and Donald Vega (piano).

 Sheila Anderson – “Queen of Hang”, WBGO 88.3FM Radio will serve as the host.

This is a free event! But don’t forget to bring your own lawn chairs. Food vendors will be on site. For info go to  PMLJAZZ.COM

 – The Legacy-

 Inspired  by their participation in the  1995  historic Million Man  March in Washington  D.C.,   James “Pappy” Martin collaborated with Darryl Peebles, Council President James Pitts and Steve Porter,  to implement an innovative community enhancement program entitled The  Masten Jazz Festival.  In 2015, upon the passing of Pappy Martin, who continued the festival, the name was changed to the Pappy Martin Legacy – Masten Jazz Festival. 

Buffalo is a city with deep roots in the jazz tradition. It once touted numerous venues that showcased jazz performances: Blue Note, Bon Ton, Calumet, Colored Musicians’ Club, Little Harlem, Pine Grill, Moonglow, Revilot, Royal Arms, Shalimar and many more. The city is home to several jazz giants and provided mentors, teachers and audiences for hundreds of developing musicians. This festival is dedicated to keeping that legacy alive as it reinforces confidence, in young and old, that Western New York is a place to not only present local and  world renowned musicians, but also, develop and nurture future musicians.

It further serves as an outreach to all neighborhoods in its mission to make music accessible to everyone by keeping it free and open to the public.

“ My father  would be so proud of how much this festival has grown,” reflected Dawn. “ His dedication to making sure that jazz remained accessible to everyone in the community will continue to be realized with this year’s event. Come, honor, celebrate and enjoy America’s original art form, Jazz!”

Illustration of the Legendary James Pappy Martin by Edreys Wajed

-The Festival Schedule-


3:00 pm – Adrian Benton Band

4:00 pm – George Caldwell

5:00 pm – Trigger and the Sermon

6:00 pm – Drea D’Nur

7:00 pm – Will Holton



3:00 pm –  Love Supreme School of Music




More about some of the featured artists included in the line up 


Ron Carter  is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz history.With more than 2,200 albums to his credit, an accomplishment honored in the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records  He has recorded with greats including: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons, Jaki Byard, Eric Dolphy and Cannonball Adderley. From 1963 to 1968, Ron was a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, and MVP by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He earned two Grammy awards, one in 1993 for Best Jazz Instrumental Group, and another in 1998 for Call Sheet Blues from the film Round Midnight. Carter is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the music department of City College of New York. Carter sits on the advisory committee of the board of directors of The Jazz Foundation of America and on the Honorary Founder’s Committee. Carter has worked with the Jazz Foundation since its inception.Ron continues to tour with his trio, quartet, nonet and big band, playing to sold-out audiences around the world


Grammy Award-winning pianist, George Caldwell has led a brilliant career as a performer, composer, arranger, conductor, educator, and actor.  For over 30 years, George has toured the world with groups such as the Count Basie Orchestra and Duke Ellington Orchestra. He has performed with an extensive list of legendary artists that includes Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, and Nancy Wilson, and can be heard on over 15 albums. In addition, George has served as Pianist and Musical Director for dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway touring shows. Though still touring and performing extensively in New York City, we are lucky to have George residing and performing in Buffalo where he currently serves as Director of Jazz Ensembles at the University at Buffalo.




Adrian Benton has been playing the guitar for over 60 years since he was knee high to his dad, Walter Benton. Following in his dad’s  legacy, he plays  jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues. Adrian Benton has performed regularly at the Masten Eaton Lounge, New Golden Nugget and Manna At Northland. Musicians Appearing: Adrian Benton, Vocals/Lead guitar; Al Ferguson, Keyboards; Dement Ormond, Bass; Abdul Rahman Qadir, drums.



Nat Reeves/Bassist  

Nat Reeves has built a successful career touring the world with some of the most important figures in jazz in the last half-century.  His work as a prominent educator at The Hartt School, Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Division has spanned over 35 years.  As a bassist, he is regarded as a precise accompanist, known for his impeccable time, deep tones and great earthy, organic sound.  As an educator, Nat mentors some of the future greats of jazz.Early in his career, Nat not only performed with Jackie McLean but such greats as tenor-saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Benny Golson, trumpeter Donald Byrd, drummer Art Taylor and pianists Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Walter Davis, Walter Bishop, Larry Willis and Kenny Drew. He became a longtime member of altoist Kenny Garrett’s group in 1994.Committed to carrying on Jackie McLean’s legacy, Nat looks forward to continuing his career in music education, recording and performing throughout the world


Will Holton/Saxophone  

Will Holton who is a Buffalo-bred saxophonist who draws inspiration from Jazz, R&B, and Soul artists. An ambassador for the country’s largest Juneteenth Festival, he has also performed at statewide music festivals including: Buffalo’s Pine Grill Reunion, Rochester’s Roc the Park and Afrikan American Festivals, Syracuse’s CNY Jazz Festival and annual performances in White Plains, NY and Washington DC. He has gained national acknowledgment from co-billing on stages with American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard, Keyshia Cole, Grammy award-winning guitarist Stanley Jordan, Jon B., jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers and KEM Musicians Appearing: Will Holton, Saxophone; Brandon Josey, Keyboard/Vocals; Jim Bohm, Flugelhorn; Cal Parmer, Bass; Tony Payne Jr., Drums




Drea d’Nur / Vocalist 

Drea d’Nur has been making an impact as an independent artist for 10 years. Prior to her Germany recorded debut Day of D’Nur (2013), she had collaborated with industry producer and performed on a major network. She’s worked with Grammy winning producer and writer, Greg Curtis, who wrote and produced Love and I Remember for Keyshia Cole. She also did a special Marvin Gaye cover on ABC World News Now which was nationally aired in America.Drea d’Nur’s work has reached national and international acclaim with localized work to highlight the rich history of Black music and art in Buffalo. This 2017 Spark Awards Artist of the Year has performed overseas, released two independent music projects, produced two short films about Nina Simone, directed a music video, produced two stage productions



Henderson first got worldwide recognition for his jazz-trumpet playing from the popular recordings he made with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi group during the early ’70s. other jazz performers Henderson has played with include Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson, Max Roach, Jackie McClean, Dexter Gordon, Roy Haynes etc. Henderson was on the faculty at Juilliard school of music 2007 to ‘16 and has been on the faculty Oberlin University jazz department since 2014. His discography consists of albums under his name on Capricorn, Blue Note, Capital, Columbia, Steeplechase, Sirocco, Kind of Blue, Furthermore and Smoke Session Records.

Curtis Lundy – Bass / Bandleader

Lundy is arguably one of the most prolific, in demand bassists, on the modern jazz scene. He is a disciple of the mainstream, straight ahead, hard bop school. ​ Highly regarded for his robust, lyrical, ‘leadership from the front’ approach to the acoustic bass, he delivers an unsurpassed brand of masterful excellence in performing standards, originals and the American songbook.   A native of Miami, Florida, that he left  in the late 1970’s for New York City, the jazz mecca, he quickly established a formidable reputation and soon came to the attention of legendary vocalist Betty Carter and prominently featured on the Carter signature original, ‘Tight’, memorialized on the iconic recording, “The Audience with Betty Carter.” ​ Lundy also gained notoriety as co-leader of  ‘Horizon’, an extended model of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, with renowned alto saxophonist and University of Miami classmate, composer, arranger and recording artist, Bobby Watson. Lundy has performed and recorded with  Pharaoh Sanders, Johnny Griffin, Cyrus Chestnut, Larry Willis, Wallace Rooney, Warren Wolf, Steve Nelson, as well as his sister, Carmen.  Lundy’s arraignment of “Walk with Me”, recorded by the Arc Gospel Choir, was sampled by Rapper Kanye West and became the Grammy Award -Winning hit, “Jesus Walks.”  ​ JazzTimes calls Lundy “one of the most spiritually uplifting bassists on the jazz scene today.”Mr. Lundy serves as the International Artistic Director of the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective. He has committed himself to solidifying the organization’s artistic integrity and elevating its reputation on the national jazz scene.

Orrin Evans – Piano

Orrin Evans is a jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader. He is well-versed in hard and post-bop, neo-soul, and R&B. He formed the Black Entertainment label in 1995 to release his leader debut, The Trio. He signed with Criss Cross in 1996 and worked in a number of contexts. On 1997’s Justin Time, he led a quintet and followed with the acclaimed octet, Captain Black, in 1998. Two more quintet albums, Grown Folk Bizness and Listen to the Band, followed in 1999. Evans spent several years recording for IMAMI issuing outings LuvPark in 2003 and Tarbaby in 2006. In 2010, he issued three recordings with a quintet including: Tarbaby‘s The End of Fear, Captain Black Big Bandand Freedom.  Evans issued titles under his own name, as well, including 2013’s acclaimed trio set, It Was Beauty,  and the live quintet date, Liberation Blues. In 2018, Evans replaced pianist Ethan Iverson in Bad Plus and they recorded the all-original Never Stop II followed by 2019’s Activate Infinity.   July, 2021, he released The Magic of Now.


Terreon Gully – Drumset

Terreon Gully is an exceptional musician whose voice of choice is drumset.  As a diverse musician, he has mastered a variety of musical styles:  straight ahead, funk, fusion, Afro-Cuban, big band, drum and bass, rhythm and blues, hip hop, pop and gospel. . Terreon performs and records extensively.  When not busy with The Christian McBride Band, Stefon Harris, David Sanborn or Yerba Buena, Terreon finds time to squeeze in working with such artists as Burning Spear, Lauren Hill and Roy Ayers to name a few. Known for his authenticity and versatility, Terreon performs in a variety of genres and musical settings, working with the best.  From reggae pioneers, hip hop icons, to jazz legends. Terreon has performed, toured, and recorded with many artists, among them:  the Benny Green Trio, Charlie Hunter, Real Live Band, Dianne Reeves, Abbey Lincoln, Marc Cary, Russell Gunn, Lizz Wright, Jackie Terrason, and Common as well as a host of other artists.  In addition to live performances, Terreon’s musical abilities expand to include writing, producing, and arranging. He is known for his exceptional work in the studio, recording for albums, films, and commercials


Warren Wolf – Vibraphone

Baltimore’s Warren Wolf is an acclaimed jazz vibraphonist known for his sophisticated, exploratory, nearly acrobatic post-bop style that moved one critic to exclaim,  “he plays the vibraphone like an electric guitar! Wolf has been active on the international jazz scene, touring with Bobby Watson‘s “Live and Learn” Sextet, Karriem Riggins‘ “Virtuoso Experience”, Donal Fox‘s Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project, Christian McBride‘s  “Inside Straight” and with his own group of young musicians, “Wolfpack”. In the spring of 2020, Wolf released Reincarnation, Convergence (2016), Warren Wolf (2011), Black Wolf (2009) and Incredible Jazz Vibes (2005).


Stacy Dilliard – Saxophone

Stacy attended college at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. A fortunate encounter with Wynton Marsalis in Dayton, Ohio would turn Dillard’s attention to the New York scene. Dillard’s spirited energy is laced with nuance and intelligence and, while he’s not shy of passion or feeling, everything he does is grounded in superb technique and focused and appealing ideas. Dillard can play ‘out’ as well as ‘in’ or, if you like, inside-out, but he is perhaps best as himself, accessible and pleasurable to those with mainstream tastes as well as those whose ears appreciate some edge and innovation.  He has recorded four albums as a leader and recorded on over forty as a sideman. He can be found on recordings with Cyrus Chestnut, Captain Black Big Band, Eric Revis, Winard Harper, Wycliffe Gordon and many others.


Brandee Younger – Harp

Brandee, born in Hempstead, NY, is an American harpist. She infuses classical, jazz, soul, and funk influences to the harp tradition pioneered by her predecessors and idols, Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Younger leads her own ensemble, performs as a soloist and has worked as a sideman for such musicians as Pharoah SandersJack DeJohnetteCharlie HadenBill Lee and Reggie Workman.  She has performed with many other popular artists including Lauryn HillJohn Legend (Love in the Future), Common (Finding Forever), Ryan LeslieDrakeMaxwellThe RootsMoses Sumney and Salaam Remi. Younger is noted for her work with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who was featured on her latest release, Soul Awakening. Currently, she actively records and tours with drummer and producer Makaya McCraven, following the release of his 2018 recording Universal Beings



Davis is widely regarded as one of today’s leading voices on the trombone. Davis has worked with jazz luminaries such as Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Benny Golson, Cecil Payne, Harold Mabern, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Roy Hargrove & Willie Jones III. A long-time educator, Steve has guided a broad range of emerging musicians at the Hartt School, Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Division, University of Hartford where he was recently honored for over 25 years of service.



His talents have been summoned by many top jazz musicians: Elvin Jones; Louis Hayes; Jimmy Cobb; Joe Chambers; Grady Tate; Bobby Durham; Ray Appleton; T.S. Monk; Will Calhoun; Pat Martino; Russell Malone; Slide Hampton; Curtis Fuller; Papo Vazquez; Steve Turre; Delfayo Marsalis; Steve Davis; Frank Morgan; Gary Bartz; Charles McPherson; James Spaulding; Donald Harrison; Vincent Herring; Jeremy Pelt; George Coleman; Eric Alexander; Javon Jackson; Eddie Henderson; Tom Harrell; Brian Lynch; Jim Rotondi; Regina Carter; Marlena Shaw; Ray Mantilla; Cecil Payne; Charles Davis and Steve Nelson; among many others. Rick has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwauke, and also studied with David Hazeltine at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music He later did graduate work at Manhattan School of Music, studying with Jaki Byard. As an educator himself, Rick is Associate Professor of Jazz Piano Studies at Hartt School, Jackie McLean Institute.


A native of NYC, Eric McPherson came to prominence apprenticing with legendary saxophonist and educator, Jackie Mclean, and innovative pianist and composer, Andrew Hill. Those foundational experiences cultivated Eric into one of the leading drummers in contemporary creative music. He has played with artists Abraham Burton, Pharoah SandersRichard Davis (2)Avishai CohenKurt RosenwinkelJason MoranGreg Osby and Jeremy Pelt. In addition to his performances, he works as a music educator and conducts workshops and master classes worldwide  Eric continues the legacy of the musical giants who came before him. As well as performing and teaching internationally with an array of today’s leading contemporary creative musicians, Eric teaches privately and at the Hartt School, Jackie McLean Institute.


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See you in the park!