Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Upbeat BPO concerts put swing into spring


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has a couple of snazzy concerts planned for Kleinhans Music hall over the next couple of weeks. This weekend features percussionist Colin Currie on Saturday and Sunday with a percussion concerto by Jennifer Higdon that has sparkle. And Saturday, May 3, brings a big band salute with conductor Matt Catingub, pictured above.

The orchestra likes to do big band salutes around this time of year -- maybe it's a way of warming things up when the weather seems slow to change. Conductor Matt Catingub is presiding over a concert including numbers associated with Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and other legends. Catingub, conductor of California's new Glendale Pops Orchestra, has a flair for the retro. One jazz disc a few years ago by the Honolulu Symphony (Catingub is of Polynesian descent) featured arrangements of his featuring florid strings that could take you back to the 1940s and '50s.

We give you the sultry sounds of the Matt Catingub Big Band.

Catingub and the BPO play the blues, and other big band delights, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

Tickets are $28-$76. For info on BPO events, call 885-5000.

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.


BPO conducting candidate stars in next 'Know the Score'


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The race for the position of Associate Conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra continues to heat up. On Thursday, May 1, candidate Ben Rous will be leading an installment of the orchestra's popular "Know the Score" series.

"Know the Score" is a kind of entertaining music ed geared toward grown-ups. Rous, pictured above in a recent News photo, is resident conductor with the Virginia Symphony, where BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta is music director. He will be exploring Stravinsky's sparkling ballet "Petrushka."

The BPO's description of the event strikes an appropriate carnival barker tone: "Test the boundaries of reality as you explore the loves, schemes and inner loves of the stock puppets at the county fair." After the concert there will be a party with the musicians featuring fair food, entertainers and games courtesy of the Erie County Fair.

This is the last event in this season's Know the Score. It takes place Thursday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $25.

Stage set for Buffalo Chamber Players' concert tonight


By Mary Kunz Goldman

At last count there are still a few seats left for the Buffalo Chamber Players' concert tonight at Buffalo Seminary ... a fascinating program of transcriptions and arrangements perfect for a rainy night.

That is the most recent picture of the Chamber Players up above. And JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's music director, is going to be joining them tonight on guitar for some Schubert.

And one piece that calls to me is Arnold Schoenberg's arrangement of Johann Strauss' Kaiser-Walzer, or Emperor Waltz. Here is a clip from YouTube of some musicians, somewhere, playing it. The labeling on the video was in Cyrillic, so who knows exactly where it is. Wherever it is, it is charming, and really suits this cafe music.


The Buffalo Chamber Players take the stage at Buffalo Seminary tonight at 7:30.

Stars lining up for Andy Anselmo birthday cabaret

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buffalo jazz crooner Michael Civisca is making a rare appearance in the limelight on April 24, for a special occasion. The occasion is Life is a Cabaret, which celebrates the 90th anniversary of Buffalo's Community Music School as well as the 90th birthday of the great singing guru Andy Anselmo.

Andy Anselmo, a graduate of the Community Music School, coached such stars as Liza Minnelli, Mandy Patinkin, Joanne Woodward and Regis Philbin.

Civisca is just one part of a star-studded lineup for the party, which takes place in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall. Other entertainers include a jazz trio led by drummer Carmen Intorre; and the cabaret duo Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, who have performed at such venues as Birdland, the Algonquin and the Metropolitan Room. You can watch Comstock and Fasano in the video up above.

Also taking the stage will be Caroline Jones, Anselmo's New York protegee. Miss Jones is a singer, songwriter, recording artist and radio host. Remember, the last time she sang here, sports legend Ed Kilgore told her she had more range than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Life is a Cabaret takes place at 7:30 p.m. April 24. Tickets are $40 and all proceeds benefit the Community Music School. VIP tickets are $100 and include preferred show seating and a post-event reception with the performers. Tickets are available online or through the school, 415 Elmwood Ave., by calling 884-4887.

City of Night puts out a call for site-specific work

City of Night, the grassroots multi-arts festival which will take over Silo City on June 28, is seeking proposals for "performance art, installations, sound art, murals, dance, theater, and light-based works."

Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, the group behind the popular festival, released a teaser video in hopes of inspiring Western New York creative types to apply. Check out the City of Night website if you're interested in applying. Here's a look:


And a handy walkthrough of the site for artists interested in exactly what they're applying to:

 --Colin Dabkowski

BPO fiddlers present free Irish concert at Nietzsche's


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The good side of the storms that blew in around St. Patrick's Day? We still have a bit o' St. Patrick's Day music to look forward to. This concert, postponed a few weeks ago because of the weather, sounds like great fun.

It's at Nietzsche's on Wednesday night, and it's free. Two musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, bassist Brett Shurtliffe and violinist Amy Licata, pictured above, have banded together to form a duo devoted to Irish music. Already they have performed with Cherish the Ladies and the Chieftains, as well as with the Buffalo Chamber Players. Licata's solo fiddling has been in the spotlight several times at Kleinhans Music Hall, always to great acclaim. She was a pro at an early age: When she was eight she competed in the a national junior fiddling competition, finishing third behind 13-year-old Mark O'Connor.

At Nietzsche's they promise beautiful airs and jolly ballads. There's no cover, there is beer of various ethnicities including Irish, and there is the uniquely romantic ambiance that belongs only to Nietzsche's. What's not to love? The evening of Irish music begins at 8 p.m.