Saxa (musician)

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Lionel Martin
Birth nameLionel Augustus Martin
Also known as"Saxa"
Born5 January 1930
OriginCroft's Hill, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica (then a colony of the United Kingdom)
Died3 May 2017(2017-05-03) (aged 87)
LabelsIndependent, London, Arista
Associated actsThe Beat, The International Beat

Saxa (born Lionel Augustus Martin; 5 January 1930 – 3 May 2017) was a Jamaican saxophonist famous for having performed with the British ska band The Beat. Born in Croft's Hill, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica (then a colony of the United Kingdom), he moved to the UK in 1960, living in London for 18 months before settling in Birmingham. He played with many early ska and reggae stars such as Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker.[1][2]

After the original incarnation of the Beat disbanded, he played in The International Beat with musicians Tony Beet, Everett Morton and Mickey Billingham from 1990 to 1995. Following this, he retired to Birmingham.[3] He died on 3 May 2017, aged 87.[4]


  1. ^ Chris Woodstra The English Beat Allmusic
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed 4 May 2017.
  3. ^ Simpson, Dave (17 March 2009). "The Beat". The Guardian. p. 36. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  4. ^ Pearis, Bill (3 May 2017). "The English Beat saxophonist Saxa, RIP". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 7 May 2017.