Benefit Held For Local Jazz Musician
By J.T. Ryder
We all have grown up through our dreams. Visions of ballerinas, firemen and astronauts color our childlike world with such a fervent surety of being one day realized. Some dreams fall by the wayside as we grow up and other interests and talents emerge. Others hang on until it is painfully proven that we don’t possess the inherent aptitude. In rare cases, there are those that possess not only the fervent drive to pursue their dreams, but the cleverness to capture and hold onto them.
Tyrone L. Martin, Jr. belongs in the latter category. He is a young man with an unwavering belief in himself and a desire to hone his God-given talents and skills to bring the joy of music to others. Since the age of 8, Martin has displayed an uncanny aptitude for music, mastering the alto sax at a very tender age, so much so that by age 9 he played Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. At 14, he was invited to attend the summer jazz workshop at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Locally, he has played in a group run by Tumust Allison called Serious Young Musicians, which has distinguished itself by opening up for the likes of Al Green, Freddy Jackson and the Funk Brothers. Martin recently graduated from Stivers School for the Arts and received a $15,000 full tuition scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in addition to a $1,000 scholarship granted by the Dayton area musicians union.
Yet, as in many dreams, just when the object of desire seems within reach, obstacles are placed in your path and your footsteps become hindered, mired in trivialities. While Martin has enough to gain his education and attain his dream, the realistic expenses of everyday life have not been met: food, shelter, books, etc. Martin has taken it upon himself to work through these obstacles, taking on gigs and organizing a benefit, slated for Saturday, October 23, in order to raise money for these necessities of life. But, out of thousands of young adults and their families that find themselves in similar situations, what makes Martin special?
“I think that what is special is that I realize that no matter what happens, I was always going to pursue my dreams, no matter what, because I believe in my dreams. I believe in what I do.” Martin said. “Berklee is not my only accomplishment, so I have strong faith that I will succeed.”
Martin’s talent and personal plight particularly caught the eye of Stivers volunteer Bill Pflaum, who has aided Martin in the pursuit of his dream and shared his thoughts on what makes him a special individual.
“I think that it is his quality as a musician and his quality as a person,” Pflaum said, “His hard work and commitment to pursue this dream of what he wants to be. He has the ability to turn that dream into reality through the hard work it will take to realize that dream. Berklee (also) believes in him. They are giving him almost $15,000 in the form of a tuition scholarship. He also has a scholarship from the local musicians union here in Dayton, so they believe in him as well. It’s just that living and being in a school in Boston costs more than the $16,000 tuition will cover.”
Even with Martin’s own financial issues that he has to contend with, life is not just a pursuit of personal self-interest. He still finds time to give back to the community and put in the hard work for causes that matter most to him.
“I know that (Tyrone) is going to be teaching young kids over at the Kroc Center starting in the first part of November,” Pflaum added. “He’s really interested in teaching young kids. He was first sax for the (Stivers Jazz) Orchestra and led that sax section. He was a model for the younger kids there.”
“I was there for five weeks and I love the environment,” Martin said of Berklee College of Music. “I feel like it is a very nice place for me to spread my wings. It’s a really dynamic environment. I just feel that it is the next step for me.”
Tyrone L. Martin, Jr.’s benefit concert will be held Saturday, October 23 at 6 p.m. at United Community Brethren Church, 15 W. Hillcrest Ave. Martin will perform along with jazz artist Eddie Brookshire. For more information, contact (937) 344-4642.
Reach DCP freelance writer J.T. Ryder at email@example.com