3 Trending Stories Shaping Future Jazz Scene In Buffalo
As we reflect upon 2022, there are three trending stories that are shaping the future of jazz in Buffalo. In ways that will undoubtedly enrich the arts and culture of our city and region. Encouraging signs are all around us of continued progress and development we know are making Buffalo a special place on our nation’s map of cities with great arts and music.
1 – Growth As a Jazz Destination
When we look back at 2022, it is skin-pinching to take a look at the abundance of international jazz stars who are noticing Buffalo. Through media efforts like JazzBuffalo.org and supportive audience participation, awareness of Buffalo as a jazz destination has grown amongst both jazz artists and jazz fans. An amazing group of international jazz artists came through our city. Such as Herbie Hancock (Kleinhans Music Hall), Emmet Cohen (Northwest Jazz Festival), Samara Joy (JazzBuffalo), Stacey Kent (Northwest Jazz Festival), Pat Metheny (Babeville), Anat Cohen (Art of Jazz), The Baylor Project (Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival), (Tom Harrell (Art of Jazz), Amina Figarova (Art of Jazz), Pasquale Grasso (JazzBuffalo), Remy Le Beouf (JazzBuffalo), Gary Bartz (.9 Mile Collaborative), Orrin Evans (.9 Mile Collaborative), and much more. Included one night at Seneca One of an all-star ensemble featuring prominent Grammy® winners and nominees. Even more promising is out-of-towners taking a drive as well as staying a night or two to attend concerts as well.
In 2023, we are sure to see more of jazz’s brightest stars taking notice of Buffalo as a jazz destination!
2 – New Generation and Next Generation Shaping The Future
A jazz scene thrives when there is a continuous influx from two pools:
- A new generation of recent graduates and younger artists beginning to master their skills
- Next-generation jazz artists who have been maturing their craft and are stretching their creative wings
We are seeing exciting developments in both of these areas. New sounds from the likes of saxophonist Quentin McCauley, guitarist Oscar Woodrich, and saxophonist Matt Incontro represent a new generation. The creative wings are spreading to the next generation by the likes of guitarist Adam Bronstein, saxophonist Ellen Pieroni, bassist Ed Croft, saxophonist Elliot Scozzaro, vocalist Lindsey Holland, pianist/keyboardist Donny Frauenhofer, saxophonist Kevin Hall, tandem of trumpeter Jacob Jay/saxophonist Dalton Sharp, vocalist Alex McArthur, trombonist Brendan Lanighan, guitarist Jared Tinkham, pianist Marcus Lolo, and many others who have spent time maturing their craft. Exciting new albums and concerts by the next generation can be found in the Buffalo jazz scene.
Adding to this trend is the return of outstanding next-generation musicians to Buffalo such as saxophonist John Aaron Troy and guitarist Matt Michaud. Both already making their mark on the jazz scene in 2022.
A jazz scene thrives when we can provide opportunities for our new generation and next-generation jazz musicians to grow, create, and master their craft so that audiences can enjoy the refreshing sounds of jazz!
3 – Jazz Becomes A Part Of The New Buffalo Resurgence
The Buffalo I knew from my youth through the 1970s and even after my return from nearly 25 years of living out of the state is vastly different. A new vibrancy exists. We are seeing a resurgence we could not have imagined even a decade ago with organizations like 43 North, the Douglas Development Corporation, and Rocco Termini’s Signature Development Corporation leading the way. JazzBuffalo has worked in partnership with such to enrich not only the arts and culture but to foster the “New Buffalo” that is offering a new way of life in our community. Seneca One has quickly become a crown jewel in our city and jazz is a significant part of helping the community enjoy the renovated spectacle. We have held remarkable concerts in the repurposed auditorium. Including the first-ever JazzBuffalo-produced Buffalo Jazz Festival at Seneca One West Plaza outdoors.
The longest-running jazz brunch in the city has become a mainstay at the refurbished Marcy Casino/Terrace at Delaware Park, Jazz at Chandlerville has become a summer destination at the redeveloped Chandler Street, and jazz can be found in other existing cultural and new developments. Through the efforts of Lazara Martinez, PAUSA Art House continues to provide jazz despite some severe obstacles during the past couple of years.
These efforts not only take visionary developers like Douglas Jemal and Rocco Termini but also next-generation community leaders we need to support such as Sean Heidinger at Seneca One and Jason Davidson, proprietor and operator of The Terrace and Liberty Hound.
The year 2022 was an exciting comeback year from the lockdown days of the pandemic as well as more progress as a vibrant “New Buffalo.” It did not come with several heartbreaks. The loss of Sara Rogers, Jerry Livingston, and Joey Defrancesco was met with much sadness. Their memories and legacies spur us on to continue making progress.
A Year in Review In Pictures And Sound
What follows is a compilation of pictures by resident JazzBuffalo contributor, and photographer Jack Zuff. With music by The Cousins Trio featuring bassist Marc Cousins, pianist Jim Gardner, and drummer Abdul-Rahman Qadir. A super way to see a year in review. Enjoy!