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Music Is Art Fest under way, with 7 shows to go

The Niagara University 2008-09 Live Music Series has begun, and features seven more shows during this school year, including a Music Is Art Fest show to support a cause founded by one of the Goo Goo Dolls.

All shows run from 8 to 11 p.m. in the "Under the Taps" Club in the lower level of the Gallagher Center, except for the Oct. 17 and March 20 shows, which take place in the Castellani Museum.

Admission is $5 at the door and includes pizza. The general public is welcome.

Here are the shows still to come:
* Oct. 17 (5 to 8 p.m. in the Castellani Museum) -- The BBC Band, a group of talented New York musicians dedicated to capturing the original sound of The Beatles. Band mates include Russ Thomas of BeatleMagic (vocals & rhythm guitar); John Connelly of Switch (vocals, harmonica and bass); Ned Wood of Weekend (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion); Frank Grizanti of The Falls Street Rockers, Frank Grizanti Band, Weekend (vocals, lead guitar & keyboards); and Gary Astridge of Big Wheelie & The Be Bops (vocals, drums & percussion).
* Nov 14 -- KLEAR, plus special guest Zak Ward. KLEAR returns to Niagara University with a rare appearance of its original lineup, Fred Shafer, Bruce Wojick, Leo McDonald and Denny Pelczynski.
* Jan. 23 -- Abominable Killer Snowmen, plus Robots Are Thieves. Abominable Killer Snowmen is an eight-piece ska band from Western New York. A.K.S. features some ska, some jazz, some metal, some funk, and a lot of other things.
* Feb. 13 -- BeatleMagic. BeatleMagic painstakingly recreates the aura and sound of the Fab Four through numerous phases of The Beatles' phenomenal career.
* March 13 -- NU will host its first annual Music Is Art Fest, featuring some of the best bands and artists from Western New York and the East Coast. All proceeds from this show will benefit Music Is Art, a foundation founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac and based on the belief that everyone should be able to find their musical voice. Bands will be announced soon.
* March 20 -- Jon Seiger and His All-Stars (5 to 8 p.m. in the Castellani Museum) -- The group performs authentic renditions of songs by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and more. They are scheduled to play this year in places that include festivals in Argentina, Canada, and Spain.
* April 3 -- Fourth Annual High School Rockband Showcase -- Five of the area's best high school rock bands will be featured in this old-fashioned Battle of the Bands. Winners will receive a $300 gift certificate from Generations Music in Niagara Falls and two hours of studio time at GB Audio. Interested bands can apply by contacting Fred Heuer by e-mail at


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