The Colored Musicians Club and Jazz Museum are taking jazz back to its roots for their 18th annual Queen City Jazz Fest in Downtown Buffalo on Saturday July 30 at the Downtown Public Library Lafayette Square from 1-8pm.
With Buffalo having produced some of the world’s best Jazz music for over 105 years, CMC board member George Scott says 87 of those years The Colored Musicians Club has been its home and location of the Queen City Jazz Fest since 2004. With that much tenure it’s no wonder why the lineup this year for Queen City Jazz Fest is a full day of outstanding talent who hail from the City of Buffalo.
Headliners hitting the stage include 10time Grammy Award winning group Take6! If you always wanted to hear and see these vocal genius talents live, here’s your chance to experience the most awarded a cappella group in the history of music on the Queen City Jazz Fest stage! With voices emulating the sounds and rhythms of musical instruments, Take6 has awed both jazz and gospel listeners with immaculate harmonies and stirring vocal arrangements. Of its 6 members, Claude McKnight (the oldest of 4 boys including his brother award winning singer Brian McKnight) is a Buffalo born and raised talent who has been with the group since its inception in 1988. He gained his musical influences from his grandfather Fred Willis Sr. who was the choir director at his church.
Known as a total package in the music industry, Buffalo born fly girl bassist Zuri Appleby and the Millennial Montage will gear it up with Progressive jazz fusion featuring Zuri Appleby on bass, Arianna Powell on guitar, Timothy Dowdell on Keys, Rod Bonner on keys and Aaron Blackmon on drums. Zuri was awarded Best Jazz Bassist of 2016 in Buffalo and proven the sky has no limit as it relates to her incomparable versatility and countless collaborations. She has both played with and opened for Grammy award winning acts like, Nick Jonas, Cynthia Erivo, Adam Lambert , Yuna and Anthony Hamilton to name a few. She’s currently touring with Lizzo and always stays dedicated to returning home to contribute to Buffalo’s music scene.
“ We love highlighting our Buffalo talent, we have so much to be proud of. We also try stretching out a bit too to incorporate other jazz greats, ” said CMC board member Linda Appleby. She is a firm believer in the power of supporting local talent and the importance of music history as it relates to jazz. “We are presenting an array of sound that connects the direct lineage of the roots of jazz, ” she said.
Other home grown and nationally known artists gracing the stage (shown in the collage above) include gospel sensation duo The Union made up of community soul sisters Simone Appleby and Leslie Gardner. Michelle Thomas and Denise Hunter will also be playing with The Union.
Critts Juke Joint Live will be bringing that New Orleans style vibration, with Rishon Northington, Jared Tinkham, Vince Fossitt, DeShawn Jackson, Naheem Shabaz, Sike, and Multi-Dimensions Quartet with Vocalist Alex McArthur and seasoned all-star musicians pianist George Caldwell , bassist Sabu Adeyola, Bobby Militello on saxophone and John Bacon Jr. on drums.
Blues band Miller and the Other Sinners will be cooking up a little southern soul music with Dave Miller on guitar and vocals, Isaiah Griffin on drums, Steve Davis on keys, Jacob Jay on trumpet and Dalton Sharp on sax .
The crowd will also be getting a full dose of energized straight ahead jazz with next generation pianist the Marcus Lolo Septet that includes vocalist Sehrea Brown, Preston Brown, Joey Gonzalez, Calvin Parmer, Ahmad Pleasant, and Dalton Sharp.
So get your chairs ready for a Jazz filled Saturday in downtown Buffalo where feel good vibes will be in full swing.
Schedule for Queen City Jazz Fest
Location: Downtown Public Library in Lafayette Square from 1-8pm
1-1:45 The Union
2-2:45 Critt’s Juke joint
3-3:45 Marcus Lolo septet
4-4:45 Dave miller blues band
5-5:45- George Caldwell multi dimensions with Alex McArthur
6-6:45 Zuri Appleby with Millennial Montage
This year’s festival location at Buffalo Public Library in Lafayette Square was chosen due to current renovations underway at the normal 145 Broadway location. A $2.95million renovation project that began earlier this year that will add a well-deserved expansion to the CMC of over 2,000 square feet. The Colored Musicians Club origins date back to 1917, when the only musician’s union in Buffalo, Local 43, refused to admit any African American musicians. A group of Black musicians decided to form a union of their own, Buffalo 533, to make sure Black musicians who came to the City had somewhere to go after they played. The club became the “after spot” for greats like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lena Horne and Dizzy Gillespie among many others. Learn more about the club at thecoloredmusiciansclub.com