The JazzBuffalo 2023 Year in Review

Shaping the Future: 3 Key Stories Impacting Buffalo’s Jazz Scene

Reflecting on 2023, three noteworthy stories are shaping the future of jazz in Buffalo, promising to enrich the arts and culture of our city and region. These developments show encouraging signs of progress, contributing to Buffalo’s growing reputation as a city celebrated for its exceptional arts and music scene on a national scale.

1 – Revival of Cherished Venues and Experiences

In 2023, we witnessed the special revival of cherished venues and experiences. The Jazz at Richardson Series and the Buffalo Jazz Festival brought community and joy to the Richardson-Olmsted Campus. This coincided with the reopening of the former Hotel Henry as the Richardson Hotel, reuniting jazz enthusiasts and the JazzBuffalo Community for three festive occasions of superb jazz.

Additionally, we celebrated the return of the esteemed Art of Jazz Series to the newly transformed Buffalo AKG Art Museum. The spectacular Gary Smulyan ‘Tadd’s All, Folks’ opening concert allowed the audience to experience the new Open Sky Town Square entrance and the refurbished auditorium. These locations are cultural gems for our city, and integrating jazz enriches our experiences in these exceptional spaces.

In 2024, we can expect more great experiences at these cultural locations!

2 – The Continued Growth of a New Generation of Jazz Artists

The upcoming generation of jazz artists in Buffalo is assuming a leading role in shaping the local jazz scene, increasingly representing the majority of jazz performances. This evolution is exciting for our jazz community, guaranteeing the ongoing presence of jazz as a vital component of our region’s arts and culture. Their remarkable originality and creative ventures continue to redefine jazz artistry, showcased in diverse venues and festivals. Including the production of refreshing CDs/albums. The influx of this new generation promises a vibrant and thriving experience for everyone involved.

A vibrant jazz scene blossoms when we create chances for emerging and next-generation jazz musicians to develop, innovate, and hone their skills, guaranteeing that audiences can delight in the engaging music of jazz

3 – Increased Accessibility and Surge in Jazz Attendance

The post-pandemic period has seen a noticeable surge in jazz event attendance. The Northwest Jazz Festival in Lewiston, NY recorded a remarkable turnout with large crowds, while our ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ event at Seneca One attracted over 400 attendees across Friday and Saturday nights. The Jazz at Richardson Series drew in a substantial number of people, and the Buffalo Jazz Festival peaked with over 1500 attendees. Pausa Art House consistently sold out its shows, and both Sundays of the Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival were filled. Reservations for the Terrace at Delaware Park Jazz Brunch, now in its 7th year, have become a necessity. Additionally, the Art of Jazz Series witnessed a record attendance of over 500 at the Elio Villafranca Chick Corea Tribute concert held in the Mary Seaton Room. During the summer, JazzMondays at the Tappo Rooftop consistently attracted a full house each Monday.

These instances are mentioned to underscore how our community is uniting around jazz, and our blend of free and ticketed events contributes to ensuring that jazz is accessible to everyone in the community.

In 2023, we witnessed exciting comebacks and impressive progress in many areas. Jazz has firmly established its position as a vital element of Buffalo’s arts and culture scene, contributing significantly to making our city an appealing destination for its distinctive artistic and musical experiences.

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