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Looking to 'Connect'

Since leaving his native Buffalo 10 years back -- scene of many a victorious club gig where he first worked with the much-missed Marvelous Sauce, and later, fronted his own funk-soul collective C.O. Jones -- keyboardist/singer/ songwriter Dave Schulz has been a busy boy. His ticket out of Buffalo and into the Los Angeles music scene was the rather ridiculous amount of talent Schulz possesses -- a trait he shares with siblings Gretchen and Robert.

It was that talent that got Schulz noticed by the Goo Goo Dolls, and later, asked to accompany the band as touring keyboardist, just as the Goos' commercial star was ascending to its highest point. Soon, Schulz would log road miles and studio hours with the likes of Bo Diddley, General Public, the English Beat, Fuel, Berlin and the Rembrandts, among others. In between, Schulz ran a weekly residency in an L.A. nightclub, and snuck in the occasional Buffalo reunion gig for C.O. Jones.

He also, apparently, found time to work on an ambitious collection of songs and sounds that would end up comprising his first-ever solo album. "Connect," as the album is called, found Schulz working with the likes of Daniel Lanois, Tony Levin, Mike Porcaro and Bernard Fowler. Now, Schulz is returning to Buffalo to celebrate "Connect's" release with a pair of shows on Saturday.

The first of these will take place during Robby Takac's Music Is Art Festival, on the grounds of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. (Schulz will perform at 3:40 p.m. For more information on MIA, see this week's "Soundcheck" column.)

Then Schulz will grab sister Gretchen, brother Robert, some musical friends from L.A., and a host of the C.O. Jones cats for a 10 p.m. "Connect" release party at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St.). Check out www.daveschulzmusic.com for more on "Connect" and the two Buffalo shows.)

-- Jeff Miers

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