Known for "Roll Out," "What's Your Fantasy?" and other timeless hits, Ludacris remained in the limelight with acting roles in the "Fast & the Furious" movies, which began in 2001, the same year his three-time platinum album "Word of Mouf" was released.
Ludacris was recently in the news for his sweet-tooth - of all things - as the rapper made a special trip to Maui to devour delights from the Maui Cookie Lady. He certainly has high standards for desserts.
Commentary: The Niagara Wine Trail comes to you - assuming you are in Lewiston - on Saturday and Sunday in Academy Park.
3) Cobblestone Live!, 4 p.m. to late July 27, 1 p.m. to late July 28 in the Cobblestone District - Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.), Columbia Street, Illinois Street and Lockhouse Distillery (41 Columbia St.). Cost is $25 for each individual night or $45 total for both days; full details here.
Commentary: Two nights of music on the cobbled streets near KeyBank Center and in two venues should satisfy music fans. Turkuaz and Aqueous are among the standouts on Friday night, with headliner Broken Social Scene and the Sheepdogs following on Saturday. Check out the full schedule here.
Lockhouse Distillery on Columbia Street will feature live music as part of the festival until 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., respectively, if you're a night owl or refuse to let the evening end.
4) Fat Joe, 10 p.m. July 28 at VENU (75 W. Chippewa St.). General admission is $30, a general admission four-pack is $20 apiece, a two-pack is $25, and $99 for VIP, which includes line skip and a bottle of champagne; all ticket details here.
Commentary: Take an afternoon nap to prepare for the late-night Fat Joe VIP Party in VENU, where the acclaimed rapper will follow the exploits of his genre-buddy Ludacris, who's performing the same night at Canalside.
Known for "Lean Back" and "What's Luv?", the collaboration with Ashanti, Fat Joe wove his hip-hop career into a pursuit of acting. But he's close to releasing a new album, "Family Ties," in which he worked with Dre, of duo Cool & Dre fame. Another track off the album, "Attention" featuring Chris Brown, was released earlier this week, Complex reported.
5) Brews & Wines on the Water, 3 to 8 p.m. July 28 in Gratwick Park (1300 River Road, North Tonawanda). General admission is $40, VIP tickets are $75 apiece for two options, with more ticket info here.
Commentary: Entercom Buffalo presents two terrific musical acts for its annual Brews & Wines on the Water, with Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear and Lord Huron invading the waterfront Saturday afternoon in North Tonawanda.
Almost all of the Buffalo-area breweries are represented in the event's vendor lineup, with out-of-towners such as Ballast Point, Otter Creek, New Belgium and Founders all having a presence, too. The beer and wine sampling portion of the event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. to avoid it becoming too much of a daylong bender.
6) Colored Musicians Club Jazz Fest, two performances by Mwenso and the Shakes, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. July 27; live music from noon to 7 p.m. July 28 at the Colored Musicians Club (145 Broadway); then Francisco Mela stars for an 8 p.m. show July 28 at Asbury Hall at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.), cost is $35 for the Asbury Hall gig - info here.
Commentary: The 101st anniversary of the Colored Musicians Club is marked by a Jazz Fest that presents its usual mixture of intimate club shows and free outdoor gigs.
From a pair of performances by Mwenso and the Shakes on Friday to 13 artists split between indoor and outdoor stages at the CMC on Saturday to a formal show with Francisco Mela rounding out the final night, this year's Jazz Fest is impressive in its depth and variety.
Commentary: A summer highlight for many Buffalonians is a stroll around the downtown, Allentown, Elmwood and West Side areas for the annual Garden Walk Buffalo, a free, self-guided tour to appreciate the stunning gardening, landscaping and quirky decorations that city-dwellers have worked at feverishly since early in the spring.
Some key locations are the two Garden Walk Headquarters at Buffalo Seminary (205 Bidwell Parkway) and Evergreen Health Services (206 S. Elmwood Ave.), as well as three Garden Walk Map Centers at West Side Community Services (161 Vermont St.), the Richmond-Summer Senior Center (337 Summer St.) and First Presbyterian Church (One Symphony Circle).
8) East Aurora Street Festival, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 28 on Main Street in East Aurora between Riley Street and Olean Road. Free to attend.
Commentary: Kids activities, performances by Irish dancers, a martial arts demonstration, Chalk Walk murals and live music from a barbershop quartet will unite families along Main Street in East Aurora.
The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce presents the free event, which fits snugly into the concept behind Jeff Miers' "90 Minutes in East Aurora" story.
Commentary: Indie folk band Fleet Foxes kicks off a weekend of two sterling shows at Artpark. After a three-year hiatus, the Seattle-born band re-formed in 2016 to record "Crack-Up," the Fleet Foxes' third album, released in 2017.
For Record Store Day in April 2018, the band unveiled a 7-inch version of that album's title track accompanied by an Icelandic women's choir.
Commentary: Ween can play a little of everything genre-wise and has developed a devoted following across more than three decades as a group. Stage names Gene and Dean Ween lead the charge to Lewiston on Saturday, but for a taste in advance, browse the review and videos from the band's show in Cleveland earlier this week, via JamBase.
BONUS: Buffalo Bills training camp begins, 2:15 p.m. July 27, 8:45 a.m. July 28 and 29 at St. John Fisher College (3690 East Ave., Rochester). Free to attend, but a ticket is required for the Saturday and Sunday practices. More info here.
BONUS 2: Lebanese Festival, 5 to 11 p.m. July 27, 2 to 11 p.m. July 28 and noon to 8 p.m. July 29 at St. John Maron Church (2040 Wehrle Drive, Amherst). Admission is $1.
Up Next - 5 events for the following week:
- South Buffalo Night at Live at Larkin
- Prince vs. Bowie Dance Party in Mohawk Place
- National Comedy Center opens in Jamestown
- Eden Corn Festival begins
- Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake