Aaron Martin, whom you may remember as Washington City Paper‘s Best Overlooked Jazz Elder in 2014, discovered Wednesday night that his means of achieving that title—-his Buescher (commonly known as “Big B”) alto saxophone—-has been stolen. A Fender electric bass owned by his friend and bandmate, D.C. improvised-music impresario Luke Stewart (another City Paper profile subject), went along with it.

Martin and Stewart maintain a small studio space at Union Arts, the loft space that Stewart books on New York Avenue NE. Martin was there working on Saturday night; Stewart was there Monday to practice on his upright. “I noticed on Tuesday when I was supposed to do a solo performance at Black Squirrel with my bass guitar that it was missing,” he says.

Though he thought he might simply have misplaced the instrument, Stewart called Martin to let him know that they might have been burglarized. Martin knew that his alto was at the studio, but “I did not get back there until yesterday evening at 6, and much to my horror, discovered it stolen,” he says.

That’s when they knew for sure. “I’ve narrowed it down to Sunday night,” Stewart says.

Stewart still has his upright, but does a hefty portion of gigs that require the electric bass; its loss puts severe constraints on his livelihood. Martin, meanwhile, has no horn at all, left without the ability to practice or perform.

Stewart’s bass is a red Fender Precision Bass Deluxe. Martin’s horn is a 1941 Buescher “Big B” Alto Saxophone, serial number #295553. The instruments are the ones in the photographs above.

Any information that might lead to their recovery can be sent to iamlukestewart@gmail.com or dcjazzelder@gmail.com.

Top photo by Darrow Montgomery

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