Garaud MacTaggart, The Buffalo News
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Garaud MacTaggart

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The continuing legacy of the June in Buffalo Festival can be judged by the impressive number of former participants who have spent a week exploring musical possibilities and then gone on to perpetuate the ideas discovered and/or honed here. That said, the players and composers filing into the classrooms and auditoriums at University at Buffalo’s Baird and Slee Halls thi…

At one point during ZZ Top’s Tuesday night concert at Artpark, guitarist Billy Gibbons noted that the band had “been coming up here for nearly five decades.” Then the trio roared into another tune for its enraptured Western New York fan base – just like the band has been doing for nearly a half-century. This was an audience willing to withstand inclement weathe…

While there are some regional ensembles and venues dedicated to musical experimentation, “June in Buffalo” has, for more than 40 years, been an annual event that attracts players from around the world. Taking place June 5-11 at the University at Buffalo, Amherst campus, JIB bills itself as “a festival and conference dedicated to composers” by offering young compos…

The final concert in the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s 93rd season, held Tuesday night in Kleinhans Music Hall, featured an intriguing program by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS for short). The program showcased well played, intriguing scores by Bela Bartok and Dmitri Shostakovich along with a masterpiece from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s cat…

Much to the delight of its fan base, Celtic Woman, a polished, high gloss take on (mostly) Irish music, came to Shea’s Performing Arts Center Tuesday evening and delighted the crowd by blending talented performers and lush arrangements into a seamless whole. With roots in the Riverdance phenomenon and Anuna (the distinguished Irish chorale), Celtic Woman has hit a sweet…

Members of the Dover Quartet are all fairly young, having graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music (where they originally played together as the Old City String Quartet) in 2010. They’ve risen quickly into the upper ranks of their profession and have recently garnered the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant for 2017. Their venture into the first pair of the Slee B…

John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor led the BPO Friday through a wildly successful program based on one of the most popular Broadway confections of the 21st century – “Jersey Boys”. The term “jukebox musical” refers to a revue built around a specific composer, group, or time period that (sometimes) uses a thin ske…

Buffalo Chamber Players and the Vocalis Chamber Choir Albright-Knox Art Gallery Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:30 pm   “Opus Number Zoo,” Thursday’s program by the Buffalo Chamber Players - the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Ensemble-in-Residence - was created as a complementary offering to the museum’s current exhibit, “Menagerie: Animals on View.…

People go to concerts for inspiration, for fun, for intellectual release. Sometimes those reasons show up at the same time in the same venue and then the lucky folks in attendance have reason to celebrate. It was that way at the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s program Tuesday in Kleinhans’ Mary Seaton Room where the Escher Quartet and Jason Vieaux (the Buffalo raise…

Two deservedly prominent Western New York arts organizations - the BPO and Lehrer Dance – combined for an impressive concert at the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts with a program that combined old and new into a nearly seamless whole. While the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is used to being a heavyweight on the scene, this event was built around Jon Lehre…

Abridging a global literary classic is a tricky business, especially one so imbued with national pride as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Faust,” a tome holding the same exalted cultural position in Germany that “Don Quixote” holds in Spain. That’s part of the reason why Neil Wechsler’s restructuring and adaptation of the legendary (and lengthy, two-part) te…

You can trace the musical “bloodlines” of guitarist Mary Halvorson’s group through an impressive chart of more than a decade’s worth of important, cutting edge jazz outfits. She’s worked with Mark Ribot and Tim Berne but her time spent playing in a couple of Anthony Braxton’s bands may have made the biggest impact on her approach to music. Halvorson’s c…

Think of a sandwich where something that may or may not be in your tasting wheelhouse is surrounded by the “staff of life.” You’ll either appreciate the experience or yearn for something more familiar. Musical “sandwich” programming is an art where favorite pieces provide the entrance to and the exit from works, historically important or not, that invite explo…

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural Pops concert of the season was a pretty solid success. There was nary an unfilled seat in the house and the parking lots – and many of the side streets – were filled with cars. Program music drawn from popular soundtrack scores by John Williams was a safe hit with the audience, and the orchestra – led by BPO Pops cond…

Multi-stage concert programs have the virtue of showcasing a number of acts across a variety of platforms at the same time. This virtue also has a drawback, especially when intriguing performances overlap, causing audiences to make a decision to see one in its entirety or split the time and perhaps miss a specifically good moment; it’s a bit like going for a one-dish mea…