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UPDATE: Bands crank out tunes in memory of Vernon musician claimed by cancer

Ken Martin died Sunday, days before fundraiser March 4, which will now benefit family

Vernon-based bass player and singer Ken Martin lost his battle with cancer.

“Sadly, he passed on Sunday during the northen lights,” said Marv Machura, who was organizing a fundraiser for Martin following his terminal cancer diagnosis.

The event will now be a memorial and fundraiser for his family and their expenses.

“Ken will now be there in spirit, free from his pain,” said Machura.

Local musicians and friends will be gathering at the Army and Navy Club on Saturday, March 4, to raise funds for his family and honour Martin’s years of contributions to the live music scene in the Okanagan and beyond.

Many local performers are lined up for the by-donation event, including The Diluted Mindz, Machura, Cadillac Jack and the Blue Tones, Ron Steward and many others.

Martin, who started in the music business as a young man playing in many Vancouver-based bands such as Blue-Sky Flyer, moved to the Okanagan in 1999 where he has lived since. He has been a fixture of the local scene playing in bands such as Wheelhouse and running open jams such as the Longhorn Open Stage for many years with Rick Zipp.

“Musicians know Ken as a hard-working gentle giant whose bass guitar would fill any room with warm, steady tones that were uniquely his own,” said Machura, who played with Martin at the blues jam held at Don Cherry’s over the past year. “His presence in the local music scene will be greatly missed.”

Donations can be made to help the family deal with this sudden and untimely tragedy at the event and via e-transfer to

For more information, contact Machura at 250-307-1505.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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