New Summer Jazz Traditions in Buffalo: Building a Vibrant Community

Increasing Community Accessibility Of Jazz to a Wider Audience

Jazz in the wonderous Buffalo summers is undergoing a renaissance, marked by an array of novel events that bring the rich traditions of jazz to life in unique and accessible ways. JazzBuffalo, has broken ground on new accessible summer jazz offerings during the past decade, such as JazzBrunch Sundays at the Terrace at Delaware Park, JazzMondays on the Tappo Rooftop Patio, Jazz at Richardson, and the Buffalo Jazz Festival. (We’ll miss Jazz at Chandlerville and Jazz on the Plaz this year!)

The continuance of longstanding festivals such as the Queen City Jazz Festival by the Colored Musicians Club, the Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival, and to the north, the Northwest Jazz Festival complements these initiatives. Together, these events transform Buffalo from a city with a previously limited jazz scene to a vibrant jazz community, enriching the city’s cultural fabric and making jazz accessible to a wider audience.

Summer Jazz to Enjoy!

JazzBrunch Sundays at the Terrace at Delaware Park: Every Sunday, jazz enthusiasts gather at the picturesque Terrace at Delaware Park for a delightful brunch accompanied by live jazz performances. A JazzBrunch Sunday reservation quickly became a cherished summer tradition, offering a perfect blend of culinary and musical experiences. The backdrop of Delaware Park and Hoyt Lake enhances the “outdoor” ambiance, making it a must-visit for both jazz lovers and those new to the genre. We’ll be entering our 7th year out on the Terrace beginning in June!

Terrace at Delaware Park, JazzBuffalo
(Terrace at Delaware Park – Outdoor Terrace)

More details: JazzBrunch Sundays at the Terrace at Delaware Park

JazzMondays on the Tappo Rooftop Patio: JazzMondays at Tappo Rooftop Patio provides a stunning setting to kickstart the week. As the sun sets over Buffalo, the rooftop comes alive with the sounds of My Cousin Toné. JazzMondays has transformed Mondays downtown and created a new tradition for birthday, anniversary, friends, and reunion gatherings, all while enjoying panoramic city views from the rooftop. We’ll be back for our 9th year beginning Memorial Day!

JazzMondays on the Tappo Rooftop Patio

More details: JazzMondays on The Tappo Rooftop Patio

Jazz at Richardson: Held at the historic Richardson Olmsted Campus, Jazz at Richardson merges architectural beauty with musical brilliance. This series of concerts not only celebrates jazz but also showcases one of Buffalo’s most iconic landmarks. The event attracts a diverse audience, fostering a deeper connection between the community and its cultural heritage. Don’t miss the three dates in 2024 – June 23rd, July 14th, and August 11th!

Jazz at Richardson

More details: Jazz at Richardson

The Buffalo Jazz Festival: The Buffalo Jazz Festival will enter its third year and features an impressive lineup of local jazz artists. This festival is a testament to the city’s commitment to celebrating jazz in all its forms. Taking place on the beautiful Richardson-Olmsted Campus, It provides a platform for local musicians to share their passion with an enthusiastic audience, further bringing accessibility to jazz to Buffalo’s community. Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 1st!

Buffalo Jazz Festival

Celebrating Longstanding Festivals

Queen City Jazz Festival by the Colored Musicians Club: The Queen City Jazz Festival, organized by the historic Colored Musicians Club, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2024. This festival honors the legacy of African American musicians in Buffalo and their significant contributions to jazz. It serves as a celebration of the city’s cultural diversity and musical excellence. This year, make plans for Saturday, July 27!

Queen City Jazz Festival

Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival: Named in honor of the late jazz musician Pappy Martin, this festival is a beloved fixture in Buffalo’s summer calendar. Held across from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on the grounds of the Buffalo Science Museum, the festival brings together jazz legends and local artists.  It stands as a tribute to Martin’s enduring legacy and his commitment to nurturing jazz in the community. Two consecutive Sundays to plan for – July 21 and July 28!

Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival on the grounds of the Buffalo Science Museum

Northwest Jazz Festival: The Northwest Jazz Festival in Lewiston offers a picturesque setting for one of the region’s largest and most anticipated jazz events. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, featuring a mix of local, national, and internationally renowned artists. Its inclusive programming and scenic location make it a cornerstone of Buffalo’s summer jazz offerings. Make plans for Friday, August 23rd, and Saturday, August 24th!

Northwest Jazz Festival in Lewiston, NY – Main Stage

More details: Northwest Jazz festival in Lewiston, NY

Building a Vibrant Jazz Community

These events exemplify the transformation of summer jazz in Buffalo into a dynamic and inclusive community. By offering diverse programming and accessible venues, JazzBuffalo and its partners are making jazz an integral part of the city’s cultural landscape. These initiatives not only entertain but also educate and inspire, fostering a greater appreciation for jazz among all age groups and backgrounds.

Moreover, these summer traditions provide significant benefits to the community. They stimulate the local economy, attract tourism, and enhance Buffalo’s cultural prestige. More importantly, they create spaces where people can come together, celebrate, and connect as a community through the universal language of jazz music.

Making Jazz Accessible to All

A key element of these new traditions is their emphasis on accessibility. By hosting events in various locations and offering free or affordable entry, these programs ensure that everyone in the community has the opportunity to experience the joy of jazz. This inclusive approach helps to break down barriers and invites a wider audience to engage with jazz and the community, fostering a sense of unity and shared cultural experience.

Such efforts by JazzBuffalo and the sustained growth of Buffalo’s established jazz festivals are breathing new life into the city’s summer jazz community initiatives. These initiatives are not just about music; they are about building a vibrant, connected community that celebrates its rich cultural heritage while looking forward to an exciting future. As Buffalo continues to evolve as a beacon of jazz excellence, these summer traditions will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the city’s cultural identity for years to come.

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