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Fashion Friday: Meet jazz lover Dawn Martin Berry-Walker

Name: Dawn Martin Berry-Walker, 66.

Who she is: Chief executive of the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective, which produces events including the Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival and, in collaboration with the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the John Coltrane Birthday Celebration – Sept. 20-22 this year. (She is the daughter of the late jazz icon/band leader James “Pappy” Martin.) Retired high school math teacher for Buffalo Public Schools. Married to Henry Walker, retired Buffalo firefighter. Mother and grandmother. Artist/painter in her retirement.

What she is wearing: African-print waxed cotton skirt and earrings from Ananse Ntontan Creative Arts Gallery, 394 Genesee St.; kimono-sleeve top from TJ Maxx; bracelets from a vendor at Juneteenth Festival; rings from Mexico.

Signature pieces: “I always wear something African-inspired – an outfit, jewelry, rings, something.”

Fashion statement: “I wear everything all black or gray with bold, chunky jewelry. Or I wear something very bright and bold, usually African prints,” she said.

“When I was teaching, there were some students who could predict my mood by what I was wearing. If I wore black, they knew everything was chill. If I wore something bright, they would say, ‘She’s trying to pick herself up, brighten her mood. We better be good,’ ” said Berry-Walker, who taught for 33 years, mostly high school.

Last thing she bought:
A pair of leather earrings, $15, from a vendor at the recent Detroit International Jazz Festival – hand painted in an African print.

In the market for: “Fashionable, comfortable flats or low heels to wear every day. But fashionable. I’m looking for fashionable,” she said.

Berry-Walker gives her African-print skirt a twirl in the living room. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Her skirt is from Ananse Ntontan Creative Arts Gallery, 394 Genesee St. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


She loves bold accessories .... (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


... from head to toe. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


These are the hand-painted leather earrings Berry-Walker bought from a vendor at the recent Detroit International Jazz Festival. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Check out last week's Fashion Friday:

Fashion Friday: High school senior, thrift store shopper

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