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Rhubarb

Who?: Nick Gonzales, bass; Mark Stojanovich, guitar; Ryan Campbell, drums.

What?: Jam-funk-rock gumbo.

Why?: Since forming in 1998, Rhubarb has evolved into the eminence grise of what is now a full-blown jam-band renaissance in Buffalo. Through its yearly "Rhubarb Family Picnic" festivals in Ellicottville, as well as the annual Halloween-themed "Bazoinker Ball," the trio has pushed the boundaries of improvisation- and groove-based music. Throughout the years, Rhubarb's core groove-centric sound has been augmented by jazz keyboardists, funk horn sections and DJs. The group helped to break down the barriers between jam-band sounds and hip-hop/electronica in Western New York, paving the way for the movement we can now witness weekly at area clubs.

What's next?: Rhubarb opens for funk-fusion-rock supergroup Kung Fu at 9:30 tonight in Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). If you missed Kung Fu last time around, don't make the same mistake twice. This band must be seen to be believed. Tickets are $10.

Check Out: www.RhubarbSucks.com.

-- Jeff Miers