The seventh annual Live at Larkin concert series boasts a mix of local and national acts across a spectrum of genres that includes funk, blues, Afrobeat, pop, R&B and indie-rock. The series kicks off June 6 and continues on consecutive Wednesdays through Sept. 5, with a one-week break July 4.
All shows begin at 5 p.m., run through 8:30 p.m. and are free and open to all ages. As in past years, live music will continue across the street on Hydraulic Hearth's outdoor patio immediately following the conclusion of music on the Larkin stage.
Some standouts in this year's roster include:
- The opening night double-bill pairing Syracuse-based, horn-driven dance-funk collective Big Mean Sound Machine with Buffalo's soul-blues powerhouse Miller and the Other Sinners.
- A percussion-heavy glimpse of polyrhythmic heaven offered by the pairing of the Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra with the Slyboots Percussion Ensemble.
- A New Orleans-themed program finding the Larkin folks teaming with Arts Services Initiative of WNY to present New Orleans native (and Papa Grows Funk founder) John "Papa" Gros, sharing a bill with the Buffalo Brass Machine.
- Funk virtuosos the Nth Power (featuring former Beyonce/Dumpstaphunk drummer Nikki Glaspie), splitting a bill with Funktional Flow.
- Turkuaz drummer and Buffalo native Michelangelo Carubba driving the bus for a hand-picked all-star ensemble.
Though in past years, the Live at Larkin schedule has been almost exclusively dedicated to local original music, there are a few tribute bands scattered throughout this year's schedule, with celebrations of the catalogs of Prince, Michael Jackson, the Grateful Dead and Talking Heads finding both local and national musicians interpreting some of the most iconic music of the past 50 years. Buffalo's Kickstart Rumble will offer their take on the Sun Records catalog, as well.
"We are pleased to continue our tradition of presenting the best of local music with the added twist of welcoming some nationally touring bands to Larkin Square," Live at Larkin Director Leslie Zemsky said in a news release. "Wednesdays are now a neighborhood-wide celebration, with music following KeyBank Live at Larkin across the street at the Hydraulic Hearth."
Here's the full lineup:
June 6: Big Mean Sound Machine with Miller and the Other Sinners
June 13: Buffalo Blues Benefit for Veterans
June 20: Sun Records Tribute Night with Kickstart Rumble
June 27: Wild Adriatic with the Tins
July 11: Workingman's Dead (Grateful Dead tribute)
July 18: Upstate Rubdown with PA Line
July 25: The Prince and Michael Jackson Experience and Verve Dancers
Aug. 1: South Buffalo Night featuring Brian Higgins and the Exchange Street Band with Crikwater
Aug. 8: Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra and Slyboots
Aug. 15: New Orleans Night: The Big Easy in Buffalo presents John "Papa" Gros with Buffalo Brass Machine
Aug. 22: The Nth Power with Funktional Flow
Aug. 29: Michelangelo Carubba (Turkuaz) and Friends
Sept. 5: Start Making Sense (Talking Heads tribute)