Celebrating Two Years of Jazz Revival with JazzBuffalo: From Samara Joy to the Great American Songbook

Uniting Our Community Through the Beauty of Jazz

Two years ago this weekend, JazzBuffalo hosted an event that would be a landmark moment in the resurgence of jazz and the Great American Songbook in Buffalo. On that memorable night, rising star Samara Joy graced the stage, delivering one of her stellar performances that would later be recognized with a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. This event marked a turning point, not just one of many for Joy’s career, but also for JazzBuffalo’s mission to revitalize jazz in our community.

Samara Joy performing at Seneca One, June 23rd, 2022

Since then, JazzBuffalo has been at the forefront of a jazz revival, breathing new life into the genre and celebrating the timeless classics of the Great American Songbook. This weekend, the momentum continues with a series of events that promise to captivate audiences and showcase our love for jazz and community in Buffalo.

On Sunday, June 23rd, the Jazz at Richardson series kicks off with Maria Sebastian’s American Songbook show. Set against the iconic backdrop of the Richardson-Olmsted Campus and the Richardson Hotel Buffalo, this outdoor event invites you to relive the great American songs we love, beautifully interpreted by Sebastian and accompanied by Buffalo Music Hall of Fame members. It’s a perfect way to spend a summer evening, enjoying superb music in one of Buffalo’s most historic settings.

Maria Sebastian’s American Songbook

JazzBuffalo’s commitment to jazz and the Great American Songbook doesn’t stop there. JazzMondays at Tappo Rooftop Patio continues to be a staple in the local jazz community, entering its 9th year, offering a unique celebration of these classic tunes. Each Monday evening, My Cousin Tone’ swings to timeless standards, providing a perfect blend of music and ambiance that has brought life to downtown Buffalo.

At this year’s Northwest Jazz Festival, the two days, August 23rd and 24th, promise to be a spectacular celebration of the Great American Songbook. JazzBuffalo is proud to support this festival, which will feature an all-star ensemble of top jazz performers from Jazz at the Ballroom, an organization dedicated to keeping these cherished songs alive. Highlights include appearances by pianist Pete Malinverni, rising star vocalist Anais Reno, and acclaimed guitarist Peter Bernstein. From “Get Out of Town” to “Flying High” and “Accentuate the Positive,” the festival will showcase six incredible shows over two days, highlighting the enduring appeal of these classic compositions. Featuring incredible artists such as Champian Fulton, Olivia Chindamo, Vanessa Perea, Konrad Paszkudzki, Adrian Cunningham, Robert Edwards, Wyatt Michael, and more!

JazzBuffalo’s efforts in a jazz and Great American Songbook revival go beyond jazz performances. We are actively creating a vibrant jazz community that unites people and enriches Buffalo’s arts and culture. By hosting events like Jazz at Richardson and JazzMondays, Art Meets Jazz, supporting the Art of Jazz Series, and supporting major festivals, JazzBuffalo is putting Buffalo on the map as a hub for jazz excellence.

Acclaimed Jazz Vocalist Nancy Kelly

Looking forward, JazzBuffalo is excited to announce the Jazz at Richardson Lounge Series, beginning with acclaimed jazz vocalist Nancy Kelly on August 16th. This series represents the next step in our vision to establish a central jazz center at the iconic Richardson, featuring indoor and outdoor concerts. The Jazz at Richardson Lounge Series will offer a unique blend of table seating with table service and general seating with walk-up bar service, aimed at creating a unique “lounge-like” jazz experience.

As we look back on the past two years, it’s clear that the weekend Samara Joy took the stage was more than just a concert; it was the beginning of a movement. JazzBuffalo’s dedication to the Great American Songbook and an innovative approach to jazz programming has not only revived a genre but have also built a thriving community around it. This weekend, and in the months to come, we invite you to be a part of this exciting journey.

Join us in celebrating the magic of jazz, and help us continue to make Buffalo a beacon of jazz culture that unites our community for generations to come.

Photos of Samara Joy by Jack Zuff: Samara Joy at Hallwalls for JazzBuffalo benefit and at Seneca One.

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