Concert honors memory of Larry Swist - The Buffalo News

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Concert honors memory of Larry Swist

For 40 years, Larry Swist worked tirelessly to break new ground in the world of high-quality acoustic sound engineering. Swist started out as a Buffalo musician and when he passed away in December of 2013, he left behind a legacy that includes work on highly successful projects for the likes of Spyro Gyra and Chuck Mangione, among many others.

A member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame since 2002, Swist spent the latter part of his career as an award-winning designer of recording studios and studio monitors, work that grew out of his considerable experience as a live sound engineer.

On Wednesday, a host of regional and national musicians, as well as music industry colleagues, family members and friends, will gather in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) for a tribute to Swist’s life and work. Dubbed “The Show Must Go On,” the concert – overseen by Swist’s widow, singer Jessie Galante, and his son, Christopher Swist – will feature more than 20 prominent names in the regional and international music world, all of whom worked with Swist and, as the event’s press release states, “shared a love of music.”

Among them will be jazz guitarist Grant Geissman (Chuck Mangione), keyboardist Tom Schuman (Spyro Gyra), big band leader Gap Mangione, bassist Jerry Livingston (Rick James), guitarist James Ralston (Tina Turner) and pianist Carol Jean Swist (Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps). Galante and other members of Swist’s immediate family also will perform.

Very fittingly, the event will be recorded by longtime Swist friend and colleague Mick Guzauski, a multiple Grammy-winning sound engineer. Swist and Guzauski worked together to create the Guzauski-Swist GS3a studio monitor speaker, which was used during mixdown on, among many other projects, the Grammy-winning Daft Punk smash “Random Access Memories.”

Doors will open at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and the music kicks off at 8. Proceeds from the $20 admission will benefit the American Diabetes Association. Advance tickets and additional info can be found at

A rock reunion

One of the most promising independent alternative rock bands to emerge from our area in the later 1990s, Last Conservative appeared to be earmarked for major commercial success. The band built up a strong following based on its incendiary live shows, the intense and torrid songwriting of frontman TJ Zindle, and the assertive marriage of melody and attitude originally presided over by guitarist Roger Bryan and later, Dave Julian.

Working with Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac as a producer for “On To the Next One” in the early 2000s solidified the band’s sonic force, and seemed at the time to all but guarantee a major breakthrough for the band.

Alas, it was never to be. Last Conservative splintered, all of its members going on to form other bands.

Happily, the lineup of Zindle, Julian, bassist Josh Mullin and drummer Tom McClusky will reunite for a show at 8 p.m. Friday in the Forvm, Maple Entertainment Complex, (4224 Maple Road, Amherst). Advance tickets are $5 through the Forvm or Admission at the door will be $8.

Happy birthday, Jerry

The late Jerry Garcia would have turned 72 on Aug. 1. Mirroring a countrywide trend, Western New York fans of the Grateful Dead’s unofficial leader, as well as musicians whose lives have been forever changed by Garcia’s songwriting and playing, will celebrate his birthday in the most appropriate fashion imaginable – by playing his music.

Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.) welcomes Sonic Garden for twin sets of Garcia music, starting at 10 p.m. Friday.

Sonic Garden will then headline “Dead Fest II,” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the campgrounds off of Blossom Lea Drive in Alden. The Intreprid Travelers and the Grateful Dans share the bill. Admission is $15 at the gate; $5 for Alden residents.

Finally, on Aug. 9, “Jerry Week” will conclude with “Grapeful Getdown @ Willow Creek Winery.” Music for the all-day event at Willow Creek Winery (2627 Chapin Road, Silver Creek) will kick off at noon and continue throughout the early hours of Sunday. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the gate and include camping on the Willow Creek grounds. They are available at Terrapin Station (1172 Hertel Ave.), Headin to Hertel (1251 Hertel Ave.), Picasso Moon (260 Allen St.) and via


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