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Free jazz festivals fill summer schedule

Buffalo becomes the Big Easy every summer, thanks to our free jazz festivals. Here is how the season is taking shape.

The Buffalo News Jazz at the Albright-Knox series starts July 12 with an appearance by the legendary and nationally renowned saxophone player Houston Person.

Begun in 1982, the Buffalo News Jazz at the Albright-Knox is the nation’s longest-running free jazz festival. Concerts take place at 2 p.m. on the back steps of the art gallery. Here is the complete schedule.

July 12: Saxophonist Houston Person.

July 19: Saxophonist Don Rice.

July 26: Singer Mike Costley.

Aug. 2: Singer Janice Mitchell.

Aug. 9: Wendell Rivera.

As in past years, the following Sunday, Aug. 16, is set aside as a rain date.

Other free jazz festivals take up where The News’ Albright-Knox festival leaves off.

The 10th annual Queen City Jazz Festival spotlights local performers from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday inside and in front of the historic Colored Musicians Club (145 Broadway) at the corner of Michigan Street. Performers have not yet been determined.

The Masten District Jazz Festival, which is held on the steps of the Buffalo Museum of Science, takes place on two Sundays in July. This year’s dates are yet to be determined.

The Pine Grill Reunion, a tribute to a long-gone beloved gutbucket jazz club on Jefferson Avenue, will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 2 and 9 in Martin Luther King Park. The first weekend generally features nationally known artists, while the second takes a more Buffalo slant. For info, call the African-American Cultural Center at 884-2013.

The Lewiston Jazz Festival has grown into a destination weekend. It takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 28 and noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 29 on a multitude of stages up and down Center Street in Lewiston. Ron Corsaro headlines the festival on Aug. 28; Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band headline Aug. 29. For more info, visit lewistonjazz.com or call 754-9000.

email: mkunz@buffnews.com

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