Pine Grill Jazz Reunion Goes Virtual With World Class Local Artists, Tribute to Agnes Bain & More!

Sunday,  August  2 &  Sunday, August 9

The African American Cultural Center Pine Grill Jazz Reunion returns for its 31st consecutive year Sunday, August 2 and Sunday August 9! But this time it will be a virtual experience!

Entertainment will  be streamed and broadcast on the first two Sundays in August. The event   is without a doubt,  one of our city’s most popular happenings  and the Cultural Center is  thrilled to  be able to continue this  31-year old tradition   in spite  the “new normal” brought on by the current pandemic. 

The Jazz Reunion begins at 3pm on both Sunday   Aug. 2  and   Sunday, Aug. 9 with the following bands: Intuition, Unity Band, Nickle City Band, Delvin Payton and the Lyfe, Trigger & The Sermon, Uncle Willie, and Will Holton. There will also be a tribute to the beloved former Director of the African American Cultural Center, the late Agnes M. Bain, who produced  some 30 Pine Grill Jazz  concerts  featuring national, international and local greats over the years.

PINE GRILL REUNION GOES VIRTUAL! Pictured top, Agnes Bain, bottom (l) Will Holton and (r) Uncle Willie. Far right this year’s t-shirt/poster design will be available during a “Pop Up Tent Sale” at the Center 350 Masten Ave. Saturday Aug. 1.

This year’s theme is “Live with Jazz and Jive”  a play on words since during the swing era, jazz musicians referred to “jive” as a way of talking.  

 “We will put the spotlight on our world-class local artists,”  said saxophonist and national recording artist Will Holton. A   renowned song writer/producer, Holton’s media company, the William Charles Agency,  is also the producer of the Virtual Pine Grill Jazz Reunion.  All the live performances were pre-recorded  on the  African American Cultural Center stage which was closed to the public during sessions. Health protocols were followed.  

The community will  be able to view or listen to performances for free in a number of ways including: Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, and the African American Cultural Center website www.

Stay  tuned for the Virtual  Pine Grill Jazz Reunion  to be broadcasted on Buffalo Access Channel 22 and on WUFO Power 96.5 FM   radio in the near future. 

This virtual format  also pairs the convenience of the worldwide web with the opportunity to share our great Buffalo musical talent and this reunion with a global audience. 

“We are encouraging all of our Facebook participants, families, and social groups to share the announcement of this virtual event with friends locally, nationally, and internationally.  In addition, we suggest that you plan Facebook ’watch parties’ and organize Zoom meetings/parties focused on this event,” said Tina Washington-Abubeker, the African American Cultural Center’s new Executive Director.

The idea is to create a virtual reunion environment that will replicate the “live” Martin Luther King, Jr. Park experience.

“So fire up your grills in the back yard and treat your family to a cookout while watching Virtual Pine Grill on a screen or even your laptop!” she continued.

“The Pine Grill Jazz Reunion  is not just a jazz festival that showcases the top jazz talent, its reputation as a city and nation-wide reunion is legendary,” added Ms. Washington-Abubeker.  

Indeed, over the years it has been  a celebration for Buffalo natives and a homecoming for those Buffalonians who have moved away.  It has provided the  opportunity for the City of Good Neighbors to all come together in the spirit of unity to show some ‘Buffalove’ by reacquainting, maintaining kinship ties, and even making new friends. 

“Many people have felt isolated during shelter-in-place and this is just the boost that we all need for our morale. It gives us all a chance to reconnect with each other, check in and see how neighbors are doing” she  said.

-Tee Shirts,  Posters, Good Vibes and Memberships!                       

True to tradition, the Center will have Pine Grill Jazz Reunion 2020 Commemorative T-shirts. The artists selected for this year’s T-shirt graphic were Buffalo’s own James Cooper and John Baker.   

By purchasing a T-Shirt, you can own a copy of this work of art.  There will   also be a limited supply of posters.

This Saturday, Aug. 1st, the AACC will have a “pop-up tent” sale at the Center, located at 350 Masten Avenue. There are several promotions going on with the T- Shirts. 1). Upload a selfie or video (of you, your friends, or family) dancing, singing, or just watching the reunion while wearing the Pine Grill Reunion  T-shirt to be entered in a contest to win a $50 Visa gift card. 2). Become a member of the AACC for $50.00 and get a T-shirt for free!  

*More details and rules for the contest will be provided at the “pop-up” tent sale and posted on the website. For more information, visit: Website –  Facebook – aaccbuffalo, Instagram – aaccbuffalo.