Organized by Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective & Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective are presenting the first Niagara Falls Jazz Fest, slated for 5-8 p.m. Sunday, July 17, at Beloved Community Center (lawn), 1710 Calumet Ave, Niagara Falls. This event is a free community concert that highlights “Women in Jazz,” and “reflects on the influential history of jazz and music in Niagara Falls.”
Performers include Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame Inductee Marsha McWilson, and Curtis Lundy and Umoja, featuring Harpist Cassie Watson Francillon.
Food trucks Dirty Bird, Cater 2 U Kitchen and Buffalo Burger Bros will serve their signature fares, and sweet treats will be available from 6-8 p.m. from Kona Ice and The Yummmm Truck.
The Niagara Falls Jazz Fest was created in collaboration with Dawn Berry-Walker, daughter of jazz legend James “Pappy” Martin, and founder of the Pappy Martin Masten Jazz Festival.
Pappy Martin and his brother, John “Spider” Martin, grew up in the Highland neighborhood of Niagara Falls, and famously played at renowned establishments including the Ontario House. To highlight “Spider” Martin’s story, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area commissioned Buffalo artist Edreys Wajed, in 2019, to create a mural along Main Street, bringing “Spider” Martin’s story into public space for the first time.
A press release noted, “Honoring the Martins’ legacy, the Niagara Falls Jazz Fest will present its annual festival by celebrating women of jazz whose musical influence sparked a movement like no other.”
“Musical storytelling resounds throughout our community, and we are excited for people to come together to enjoy notes by jazz greats such as Marsha McWilson and Cassie Watson Francillon,” said Saladin Allah, Niagara Falls National Heritage Area project coordinator. “It will be an event not to miss.”
This event is open to everyone. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. For more information, visit this website.
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) is one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the U.S. Designated by Congress in 2008, its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic, natural and cultural resources of the area stretching from Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. The NFNHA facilitates partnerships between artists, public and private organizations, and community members and stakeholders to envision and create public art, impacting the cultural landscape with pieces that reflect and honor the history and legacy of Niagara Falls. Learn more at Discover Niagara and discover the mural of “Spider” Martin through NF Murals.
The Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective was formed in Buffalo to recognize and address the multipronged aspects of continuing the music legacy of James “Pappy” Martin. Learn more at is website.
The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative serves as a catalyst for fully engaging the community and bringing innovative approaches to creating a healthier Niagara Falls. Learn more through CHNFC’s website.