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CMC Jazzfest: 150 performers honor 100 years of Colored Musicians Club

The Colored Musicians Club turns 100 this year. And its going to roll up the rugs and hold a party.

Make that a weeklong jazz party, all around the town.

It's called the CMC Jazzfest. From July 24 to July 29, a total of 150 performers will be seen gigging around the city. Some events take place at the club, located at 145 Broadway, at the corner of Michigan Street. Others locations range from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to tiny Pausa Art House, in Allentown.

"We have really great groups coming in," said Walter Kemp, the CMC's artist director. "It's something new to Buffalo. We have international artists and national recording artists coming in, along with residential artists.

"It's a blessing that we've been able to do this."

Jazz violinist Scott Tixier (Photo from Lydia Liebman Promotions.)

Among the festival's featured performers is Scott Tixier, an award-winning bebop violinist from France who is now considered one of New York's premier players. Tixier, 31, plays an 1889 violin and has worked with a wide range of artists including the Isley Brothers, Natalie Cole, Maceo Parker and Kenny Barron.

The late, great legends of the Colored Musicians Club

Blue Note recording artist Otis Brown III, another special guest, is known for his collaborations with Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano and Terence Blanchard.

The festival wraps up July 29 with a performance at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery by the Baylor Project, a husband-and-wife team. Marcus Baylor was the drummer for the Yellowjackets. His wife, Jean, formerly Jean Norris, came to fame in the '90s as half of the hip-hop duo Zhane, known for the party hit "Hey, Mr. D.J." Now, she sings jazz.

A highlight of the week will be the all-day free festival July 29 inside and outside the CMC. There will be folks jamming in the street and combos playing in the club's upstairs barroom. Kids can have fun in the "Li'l Jazzers" tent.

At 100, the Colored Musicians Club tells Buffalo's history

The lineup

Here is the full lineup. Free shows are noted. For all other shows, there is an admission charge. Advance single tickets are available only for the Baylor Project, performing July 29 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. For all other ticketed shows, single tickets are available at the door, cash only.

Weeklong passes, available at Wegmans and other locations, are $105, with discounts for students and members of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Colored Musicians Club. Visit for details.

July 24: Festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. with a Slow Roll community bike ride starting at the Colored Musicians Club (145 Broadway). For details, visit At 7 p.m., CMC president George Scott leads his big band on the CMC stage. Both events are free.

Carol McLaughlin has been playing in the Colored Musicians Club for 20 years. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

July 25: At 5 p.m. Food Truck Tuesday at Larkin Square welcomes the combo led by saxophonist Carol McLaughlin. Free. At the CMC, award-winning French jazz violinist Scott Tixier performs with his quintet at 7 and 9 p.m. $30.

July 26: At Buffalo Place downtown, at an indoor stage at Fountain Plaza by the ice skating rink, the Jenny May Quartet plays at 5 p.m., a trio led by pianist Ed Chilungu plays at 6 p.m. and the Alex McArthur Quintet follows at 7 p.m. Free.

Also on July 26, at Larkin Square's "Live at Larkin!," the Brotha Perry Organ Quartet plays at 5 p.m., followed by the Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra at 6:30 p.m. Free.

At 7 and 9 p.m. July 26, Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St., 697-9075) hosts the Andre Killian Duo, featuring drummer Abdul Rahman Qadir. $20.

Walter Kemp 3Oh is part of the CMC Jazz Fest. (Photo by Linda Gellman.)

July 27: Walter Kemp 3oh!, with RiShon Odel and David Hulett plays at 8:15 p.m. at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave., 854-1694); $25. The Otis Brown III Trio performs at 7 and 9:30 p.m. in the 9th Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave., 852-3835). $30.

Zuri Appleby and Arianna Powell

July 28: "Funk-n-Soul Friday" at the CMC. At 7 and 10 p.m., A2Z takes the stage. The group features Zuri Appleby, Arianna Powell, Rod Bonner and Daniel "DP" Powell. $25.

July 29: Enjoy free music all afternoon inside and outside the CMC. The All City Jazz Band, high school musicians, start the festivities at noon.

Why Not? follows at 1 p.m., and Blue Note 5 plays at 2 p.m. Singer Katy Miner leads a quintet at 3 p.m., and the Greg Millar Quartet performs at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. it's a quintet led by singer Janice Mitchell. Pianist George Caldwell and his quartet play at 6 p.m.

Inside the club, The Barbara Levy Daniels Quartet performs at 1 p.m., Trio Payazzo at 2 p.m., JazzWizz with guitarist Dennis Warne at 4 p.m., and a quintet led by pianist Les Davis, an anchor of the club, performs at 5 p.m.

Finally, at 8 p.m. July 29, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery welcomes the Baylor Project, Jean and Marcus Baylor. Tickets are $39.



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