The Pine Grill Reunion is a well-loved Buffalo tradition, and also is one of the best musical bargains around. The festival, which takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 10 in Martin Luther King Park, recalls the long-gone club on Jefferson Avenue called the Pine Grill that featured lowdown jazz, often anchored by the growling of the Hammond B3.
Dr. Lonnie Smith, a leading virtuoso of that unique instrument, leads Sunday’s lineup. He shares the bill with three other nationally renowned acts. Niki Haris – she spells her last name differently from her dad, the late jazz pianist Gene Harris – was a longtime backup singer for Madonna. The audience also will hear from Saltman Knowles, a contemporary West Coast jazz group featuring bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles. Completing the lineup will be the quartet led by pianist Danny Mixon, who has worked with artists including Charles Mingus, Joe Williams and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Join the crowd that turns out for this big, exuberant picnic in Martin Luther King Park, off Best Street just east of the wading pool. Admission is free. The Pine Grill Reunion continues at 4 p.m. Aug. 10 with another free concert, this one spotlighting local performers.
– Mary Kunz Goldman