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Nancy J. Parisi


Music

LEWISTON – Piano-pop artist Ben Folds, touring this time around with a drummer and Manhattan-based sextet, played Artpark amphitheater Wednesday night. It was a Ben double-header at the venue this week with another singing-songwriting Ben (Harper) playing the previous night.Throughout the set, Folds introduced and showcased, as a democratic bandleader, the talents of dru…

Music

LEWISTON – “So what is this place?” Noel Gallagher, one of the world’s most mercurial and prolific rock stars was asking, in earnest, from his position center stage. A member of the audience answered him. “It’s a park,” Gallagher repeated, dubiously. “With wild animals in it? There’s nothing in the wild any more.” Gallagher is touring with Noel Gallaghe…

LEWISTON – A gleaming black grand piano and mic stand, under a wash of golden light and amid an array of more usual tools of the rock trade, stood waiting for human intervention. A lone, mournful guitar signaled the beginning of the set of Bob Dylan and band at Artpark on Thursday night, a stop on The Never Ending Tour.The besuited band hit the stage. The nearly sold-out…

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LEWISTON – Balmy and bright, the sold-out Tuesday in the Park at Artpark concert featured a triple bill infused with playful lyricism, longtime fandom and dance floor-ready synth strains. Out on their extensive “Last Summer on Earth” tour, headliners Barenaked Ladies have invited out on the road with them two beloved Brit bands of the 1980s. Orchestral Manoeuvres in…

LEWISTON – Balmy and bright, the sold-out Tuesday in the Park at Artpark concert featured a triple bill infused with playful lyricism, longtime fandom and dance floor-ready synth strains.Out on their extensive “Last Summer on Earth” tour, headliners Barenaked Ladies have invited out on the road with them two beloved Brit bands of the 1980s. Orchestral Manoeuvres in t…

Music

From behind the plum-colored, sky-high Asbury Hall curtains, Joan Baez, lone and lean and of enviable, angular cheekbones, meandered onto the stage. The waiting audience applauded at the sight of her, quickly rising to their feet. “Coffeeshops, 1958, Cambridge,” were the first of her several spoken words conjuring her rich, folk past and that would skewer the topsy-tu…

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With a flourish of double-bottle-pouring and some combustion, The Blazing Monk is served, a current winter cocktail at Vera Pizzeria. Bar Manager Jason Wood, who has held that position for a year and a half, explains that the hot cocktail is "a play on the hot toddy" with its classic combination of liquor, hot water, lemon and honey. The drink is served in a glass mug. W…

Movies

The drama happening at a table of four diners (two married couples) – and the attendant conversation and psychological warfare – is at the core of the movie “The Dinner,” directed by Italian Ivano De Matteo. This is the second recent loose adaptation of the best-selling 2009 novel of the same name by Dutch author Herman Koch. “The Dinner,” is subtitled and is i…

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“You guys are always good for a good time.” The collective compliment (met with thunderous ovation) was velvet-voiced Darius Rucker’s entry into a two-hour set Friday night at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. The singer, and his band, headlines the Southern Style Tour, named for Rucker’s latest, eponymous country chart-topping release. The four acts who are Sout…

Gusto

With the late-summer sun still shining, saxophonist Kenny G and band played the first of two shows in the Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center on Friday night. The venue was about three-quarters full with couples and families. The second, at 8 o’clock, was sold out.He was touring in support of “Brazilian Nights,” his 14th studio album – a tribute to bossa no…

Music

Chair-toting, summer hat-wearing jazz lovers arrived early on Sunday afternoon for their slice of shade to watch the fourth Buffalo News Summer Jazz Series concert. Performing a well-curated array of standards underneath the blue tent before the steps of Albright-Knox Art Gallery were musical/life partners Janice Mitchell and Jim Beishline.The vocalist and pianist performe…

Gusto

Lou Gramm, archetypal belting rock ’n roll vocalist, performed at Gratwick Park alongside the mighty Niagara, on Friday night – part of the popular Rockin’ On The River concert series there. It was a night dominated by a glinting blue moon, raucous sing-alongs, and the clanging of well-positioned cowbell parts.The singer, a Rochester native, is a regular guy without …

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“Beautiful” was the recurrent word heard throughout Sunday’s 20th annual Masten Jazz Festival within the grounds of Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the city’s East Side. During each of the hourlong sets – and interset banter by co-emcees Mayor Byron Brown and Masten District City Council Member Demone A. Smith – beautiful was the word of choice to describe the m…

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Civic pride and political expediency joined together Thursday, 7/16, with Mayor Byron W. Brown declaring it “Buffalove Day” at a news conference in his chambers. Several hours later, on the open-air Canalside Concert stage, there was another Buffa-centric convergence of a sonic sort.Woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings of orchestral and funk stylings joined melodic…

Lifestyles

VARYSBURG – Celebrating and convening in Buffalo Hill Village on Friday, thousands paid homage to all grand and sonic things country – and American – at Jam in the Valley, the three-day extravaganza now in its 21st incarnation.The tips of a few windmills just over the treeline barely moved under a semi-cloudy sky. A gleaming, sky-blue replica of Lady Liberty on a nea…