Stephen Martin has established himself as a uniquely gifted, and intensely spirited jazz saxophonist. Born in Champaign, IL and raised in St. Louis, MO, Martin began playing the saxophone at age 10 and thrived in a community with a musically rich tradition, particularly in jazz. He has been recognized early and often in his career for his excellence in music, most recently being named a finalist for the 2018 Carinthian International Jazz Award.
Martin studied music under Grammy-Nominated jazz legend Bobby Watson, and world-renowned classical saxophonist Tim Timmons. Stephen often cites St. Louis underground sax legend Dave Stone as having had a substantial influence on his early development.
Martin has developed a personal sound on saxophone characterized by a relentless energy and particularly adventurous ideas. He is a highly emotional player, and the vibe of his music ranges widely from sensitive and inviting to thunderous and enraged - inspired by perhaps his deepest musical influence, John Coltrane. Martin's debut album, Vision, was released under his independent artist label SubtleStreet Records on July 27th, 2018. It debuted in the top 40 of the iTunes Jazz Charts, and as an Amazon best-seller. He is currently working on his second album set to be released mid-late 2020.
Currently based in Kansas City, Martin maintains a regular performance schedule, and is on faculty at The Conservatory of Music & Dance at The University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC). He contributes to a thriving, exceptional local music scene as well as performing throughout the country and abroad. Check below for upcoming performances.