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Acclaimed Buffalo brass bands join forces for free concert Saturday

Buffalo Band Photo (1)

By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Niagara Concert Band, pictured above, wins rave reviews wherever it goes, which includes the recent Association of Concert Bands' National Convention in Allentown, Pa. An all-volunteer, 70-musician group formed in 2009 at American Legion Post 1041, the band plays classics by composers including Percy Grainger as well as Sousa marches and Broadway medleys. Its director is Amy Steiner.

The band has a concert planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at St. Joseph University Church, 3269 Main St. On Facebook, the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band promises that they will play the music that won over critics in Allentown, Pa.

It will be a combined concert with the Buffalo Silver Band, a band in the rare British brass band tradition. The Buffalo Silver Band recently won the prestigious Hannaford  Cup in Toronto‚Äôs Festival for Brass.

The concert is free. As the Buffalo Silver Band says on Facebook:  "If you spent all of your money on Cher tickets this week, you don't have to feel guilty about going out twice in one week. This will be just as much fun, and did we mention, free?"

Here is a taste of the smooth and polished artistry of the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band.

Jazz singer's free recital explores the Great American Songbook

Villa 002

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Come Sunday, that's the time that Villa Maria College Music Department is spotlighting a new jazz voice. Danielle Green, a fourth-year student in the jazz department, is giving her senior recital at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27. Ms. Green, pictured above, will be singing songs by such giants of the Great American Songbook as Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser and George Gershwin.

She will also be putting her own spin on John Coltrane's arrangement of "My Favorite Things" and Esperanza Spalding's version of "Body and Soul," in Spanish.

Ms. Green will be joined by friends and fellow students including Eric D-DeJesus on guitar; Brian C-DeJesus on bass; Ralph DeMarco on saxophone; Damone Jackson on drums; tenor Anthony Re and pianist Danielle Webster. Accompanying her on piano is Michael McNeill, the head of the Villa Maria Jazz Program.

Danielle Green is a graduate of Hutch Tech and studied at the Community Music School. Currently, she is a student of the well-known singer Adrienne Tworek-Gryta. As the first vocal jazz major to present a solo recital, she shows how Villa Maria's jazz program is growing. After graduation, she plans a career in music therapy in Atlanta, Ga.

The recital takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in Villa Maria College Recital Hall, 240 Pine Ridge Road, Cheektowaga. Admission and parking are free.


Pianist giving surprise free recital here en route to Carnegie Hall


By Mary Kunz Goldman

In a surprise announcement, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has disclosed that Cahill Smith, who is soon to be giving a recital at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, is going to be giving Buffalo a sneak preview at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The recital is free but reservations are required. For reservations, call 242-7824.

Historically, Buffalo has been a town where performers may run through their material before taking it to New York. It is great that we still play that role. We used to see this kind of thing on the Ramsi P. Tick Memorial Concert Series. Just as one example, pianist Jeremy Denk (who by the way just won a MacArthur Genius Grant) ran through his repertoire in Buffalo shortly before taking it to Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. 

Smith, pictured above, is a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music. His recital is unusual in that it focuses on the music of Russian Romantic composer Nikolai Medtner. Medtner is a kind of cult figure for pianists. His rich but thorny music was admired by Rachmaninoff and Glazunov. It's appropriate that Smith is presenting this recital here. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has also been exploring Russian Romantic music, culminating in last spring's performance of Gliere's Symphony No. 2, the sprawling, evocative piece the orchestra took to Carnegie Hall in May.

Joining Smith for the all-Medtner program will be fellow Eastman School musicians Yi-Yeon Lee (violin), Hirono Sigimoto Borter (violin), Wendy Richman (viola), Philip Borter (cello), and Yunjin Kim (soprano).

The concert takes place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall. 

Don't forget to call for your free reservation!