Jazz singer Paul Marinaro lives in Chicago, where he is praised as a treasure and a rising star. But he gets his soul from Buffalo, where he was born. His father, Joseph Marinaro, always wanted to be a singer, but gave up those dreams. Instead, he went into the asphalt business, to provide a good life to his wife and 10 children. Recently, Paul Marinaro dedicated a CD to his dad. It’s titled “122 Myrtle,” after the house where his father grew up.
Poignantly, the CD opens with some homemade recordings that his father made with a record cutter in 1947 while living at that address.
“I tracked down those horribly damaged records and got the audio info out of them groove by groove,” Marinaro explained in an email. “It was important for me to include those snippets since they were the first recordings I heard as a boy that inspired me to want to sing this music. ‘That Old Black Magic’ – by Harold Arlen, another Buffalo boy.”
Tall, handsome and dapper, Marinaro jokes about his old-fashioned taste. A Chicago jazz magazine described him as “a reluctant member of Generation X.” He has a light, flexible baritone with a wiry energy. He does a great job with wry jive numbers as well as more soulful songs, both time- honored and contemporary. He is quick to acknowledge Buffalo influences, including Dodo Greene (he sat in with her at the Anchor Bar) and Al Tinney (the first pianist he sang with).
This weekend, Buffalo gets a rare chance to hear Marinaro sing. He is coming home for three performances at the Premier Cabaret Center in MusicalFare Theatre. In a nod to his hometown, his drummer will be Carmen Intorre, an Eastman grad from Buffalo who has been making a noise in the world. Pianist Ben Paterson and bassist John Tate complete the trio.
The Premier Cabaret Center offers table seating, a full-service bar, cheese plates and desserts. The first show, at 8 p.m. Saturday, is sold out. Individual tickets are still available for the second show, at 2 p.m. Sunday. A performance at 7 p.m. Sunday was recently added, and will probably be your best bet. Admission is $25. MusicalFare Theatre is located at 4380 Main St., Amherst, between Harlem and Getzville roads. Parking is free.
Who: Paul Marinaro
When: 8 p.m. Saturday (sold out), 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Premier Cabaret Center at MusicalFare, 4380 Main St., Amherst