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Genres to join in benefit concert

It figures to be among the most eclectic events in Buffalo musical annals.

American Federation of Musicians Local 92 and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will team with the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame to present "Concert From the Heart," a March 17 benefit for the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.

The 8 p.m. performance in Kleinhans Music Hall will feature Hall of Famers Lance Diamond, Van Taylor and his touring band Taylor Made Jazz and -- representing the historic Colored Musicians Club -- the George Scott Big Band. The Old School B Boys, with Mark Mazur and his Little Big Band, will be special guests.

All of it will be backed by the BPO with guest conductor Paul Ferington.

Among the greats whose music will be highlighted: Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Neil Diamond, Barry White and Marvin Gaye.

"It will be a historic event, reaching across boundaries," said Rick Matthews, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame president.

"The proceeds will go to two organizations at an unprecedented level -- tens of thousands," added Ron Daniels, Local 92 president.

For the City Mission and the Food Bank, the fundraiser could hardly come at a better time.

As the recession has deepened, "the need for food is growing tremendously; it's up over 11 percent from last year," said Michael J. Billoni, Food Bank marketing director.

Stuart Harper, executive director of the City Mission, which is also dealing with rising demand, spoke of the evening's eclectic music as "kind of like the people who come to our door."

A pre-concert performance by the Bar Room Buzzards will begin at 7.

There also will be a post-concert dance featuring the Jim Tudini Big Band.

Tickets will be $25 and are available at the Kleinhans box office, 885-5000, and Doris Records, 286 E. Ferry St., 883-2410.

Seating will be open.

e-mail: tbuckham@buffnews.com

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