Photo: Karissa Mlyniec
Martin was born and raised in Providence, “between Federal Hill and Broadway,” and used to come downtown to go to Lupo’s, when it was on Westminster Street – he saw Slayer and Iron Maiden there.
He’s studying music and general education at URI, majoring in piano, guitar, and voice. He’s previously worked “in a lot of kitchens, as a bouncer on the east side, on construction sites.”
Now he’s decided to make his hobby into his profession – he plays and teaches guitar. He also teaches extreme martial arts. “I studied Aikido for a while – it’s the Japanese art of combating violence with peace. It’s a very philosophy oriented martial art.”
He remembers how, twenty years ago, Westminster Street was closed to traffic, and people called it “Westminster Mall.” “Just seeing it now, that’s an amazing story in itself.” He’d like to see the feel of the street return to how it was then, when people didn’t have to worry about cars. However, he says, “This is a street that reflects the diversity of Providence. It’s going through some really good changes.”
In five or six years, he hopes to be a music teacher – “but they cut music and the arts from the secondary school budgets. So maybe I’ll have to move.”