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Jessie Galante has traveled the world, yet she's always felt at home. The former rock diva, who performed with the Buffalo band Actor and rock group Fire, has been embraced by European audiences who, she says, "love everything American."

"We've been doing shows, festivals, hanging out there trying to get into the scene. We've always had a great response, and the audiences are wonderful. If you're an American, they put you on a pedestal," the vivacious singer said. "The audiences jump right in and get involved with your show. It makes it easy for me."

The press has embraced Galante as well. Her face radiates from the cover of Peppermill magazine, where an accompanying story (written in Dutch) proclaims her as "Buffalo's First Lady of Rock."

Overseas, she performs with a band that includes guitarist Janos Szuch. The two have concentrated recently on writing new music for a CD planned for an early 2002 release. "He inspires me," Galante said of Szuch. "Our songwriting is an amazing process. We don't just sit down and say, 'Let's write a song.' It has to be heartfelt."

In addition to the new recording, the follow-up to her last CD, "Candy Jar," Galante said she'll continue to travel. "We'll go back and forth and keep it going to see what happens." Szuch has joined Galante for a few weeks stateside to continue working on new material and play some shows around the East Coast. "I wanted him to come out, have a good time and meet some people," she said.

Tonight, she's ready to perform in the Tralf in a show she calls a get-together. "It's a chance to have a good time with friends and family and people who haven't seen us play in a while." Joining her and Szuch will be the Prime Time Funk band from Rochester. The large funk group will open the show at 8 p.m. and then back Galante and Szuch. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.50 advance; $10 at the Tralf. Call 851-8725.

-- Toni Ruberto

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