Martin, Arch (Archie Eugene), 1931-2009
- Existence: 1931 - 2009
Archie “Arch” Eugene Martin came to be known as Kansas City’s “Mr. Trombone”. Born in 1932 in Independence, Missouri, Arch Martin started playing trombone in the eighth grade. He graduated from William Chrisman High School and by the early 1950s he was playing around Kansas City and touring with various bands. In 1956 he toured Europe with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra; from 1957- 1958 he toured with the Woody Herman Band. He also appeared at the Kansas City Jazz Festival with Clark Terry for several consecutive years. In addition to performing, Arch also served as an adjudicator and clinician at various jazz band festivals.
Arch was the first recipient of the Jesse F. Cole Award for his distinguished contributions to jazz education in 1976. This award was presented by the Missouri chapter of the International Jazz Educators, and in 1990 he became a sponsor of the award. In 1991, Arch received the Kansas City Jazz Heritage Award presented by the former Mayor, Emmanuel Cleaver II, and sponsored by the Kansas City Jazz Commission. Arch was a member of the International Trombone Association of Jazz Educators, and an honorary member of the Beta Mu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the Alpha Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. In July 1997 Arch was recognized by the Kansas Bandmaster Association and Phi Beta Mu for his “Outstanding Contributions to Bands”. In January 1998, Arch was the recipient of the Russel and Dorothy Chambers Award for Distinguished Service to Music Education in Missouri; presented by the Missouri Music Educators Association. In 1999 Martin was inducted into William Chrisman High School’s (his alma mater) Music Hall of Fame. Arch has also appeared on multiple albums including his own, Two Guys from Kansas City, featuring himself and saxophonist Ed Dix.
In addition to his performing career, Arch was also a salesman. From 1959 - 1969 he worked at Cole Music Co. in Raytown, Missouri. In 1969 he started working at Jenkins Music Co. in Kansas City, Missouri, and continued working there until 1973. From 1973 - 1980 he worked at Stanbury Uniform Co. in Brookfield, Missouri. In 1997 Martin retired from United Musical Instruments, where he earned the UMI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arch died in 2009 at the age of 77 following complications from pneumonia.