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Hotel Henry kicks off jazz series Aug. 23

The joint's a-jumping. We mean the Hotel Henry, in the historic National Landmark Richardson Olmsted Campus (444 Forest Ave.).

The new venue is partnering with JazzBuffalo for a Wednesday night jazz series. The first performance is Aug. 23, and the concerts continue intermittently through the fall.

Hotel Henry will provide a menu of drinks and light foods. The performers reflect the diversity of jazz, ranging from Dixieland to Gypsy jazz, and everything in between. Performances take place from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tony Zambito, the executive director of JazzBuffalo, is looking forward to the adventure.

“We are excited to produce a diverse live jazz experience, featuring local and regional jazz artists, in one of Buffalo’s most iconic cultural assets and preservation sites. Giving audiences a truly unique live jazz experience right here in Buffalo," he said, announcing the series.

Here is the lineup:

Aug. 23: Jazz vocalist Mary McMahon won the 2015 JazzBuffalo Poll for best female vocalist. She has performed at the Northwest Jazz Festival (formerly the Lewiston Jazz Festival) and to sold-out audiences at MusicalFare Theatre and the Premier Cabaret Lounge. Joining her at the Hotel Henry will be saxophonist Dave Schiavone, guitarist Rick Strauss, bassist Bud Fadale and drummer Abdul-Rahman Qadir. The quintet will perform jazz standards from the Great American Songbook.

Sept. 13: The Fredtown Stompers, formed at SUNY College at Fredonia in 2006, dish out Dixieland hits in time-honored New Orleans style. The band draws a crowd with a wide age range and is particularly popular with swing dancers. Songs range from old chestnuts to well-crafted modern numbers. The group is a winner of JazzBuffalo's poll for best traditional band.

Oct. 11: The Eric Johnson Quintet takes the crowd into the groove style of jazz. Jazz guitarist Johnson, of Pittsburgh, has performed with such groove greats as Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff and Dr. Lonnie Smith. He has two CDs to his credit and has been likened to such guitar greats as Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and George Benson. He will be joined by a combo with piano, bass, drums and percussion.

Nov. 15: Gypsy jazz takes over with an appearance by the Hot Club of Buffalo. The group takes you back in time for music in the style of Django Reinhardt, as well as new compositions in the same spirit. The Hot Club of Buffalo recently performed to a sold-out audience at MusicalFare Theatre Premier Cabaret Lounge.

Nov. 29: The Joe Policastro Trio, imported from Chicago, plays jazz tinged with rock, soul, funk and Brazilian jazz. Policastro, a bassist, has served as a sideman for Phil Woods, Diane Schuur and Jeff Hamilton. His trio also includes guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. The trio has a number of albums including "Screen Sounds," with movie and TV themes, and "West Side Story," which features imaginative arrangements of songs from the musical.


Hotel Henry Jazz Series

Performances are at 7 p.m. Aug. 23, Sept. 13, Oct. 11 and Nov. 29 at the Hotel Henry at the Richardson Complex (444 Forest Ave.). Admission is $10. Visit


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