The year may be winding down, but the arts season is just starting to get its second wind. The monthlong Great Performers Series at Buffalo State's Performing Arts Center in Rockwell Hall begins with acclaimed jazz keyboardist Keiko Matsui. Matsui may be best known for her album "Full Moon and The Shrine," which inspired the PBS special "Keiko Matsui: Light Above the Trees."
Along with her solo work, her smooth jazz sound has accompanied such artists as Stevie Wonder and Hugh Masekela. Her latest album is "Echo."
Matsui takes the stage at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 in Rockwell Hall on the SUNY Buffalo State campus (1300 Elmwood Ave.).
The series continues Nov. 22 with saxophonist Kim Waters, with his daughter Kayla Waters on keyboard; Nov. 23 with comedy by Jeremy Piven; and concludes Dec. 6 with a contemporary jazz show, Peter White Christmas with Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala and Lindsey Webster. Tickets for each event are $35 to $40, available at buffalostatepac.org or 878-3005.
Feast your ears at 'A Musical Feast'
The locally produced chamber music series "A Musical Feast" continues its season with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College (2001 Main St.). The evening will include music by Telemann, Faur, Ravel, Milhaud and Shostakovich, performed by Diane Hunger and Wildy Zumwalt on soprano saxophone, Natasha Farny and Feng Hew on cello, pianists Eliran Avni and Claudia Hoca, and soprano Tiffany Du Michelle.
Tickets are $15; go to canisius.edu/artscanisius or call 888-2542.
Jazz around the clock on The Terrace
JazzBuffalo not only tracks jazz performances in the area for music fans, it also presents regular free concerts, often in what can be considered local landmarks. For instance, the weekly Jazz and Cocktail Nights at The Terrace brings listeners to The Terrace in Marcy Casino at Delaware Park every Friday and Saturday, with music from 6 to 9 p.m. Listening is free, but guests also can make reservations for dinner at 886-0089 or try specialty cocktails at the bar.
If you're not a night owl, there also is a JazzBrunch on The Terrace from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday.
'Company' is coming to Ellicott Creek Playhouse
The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild community theater group presents its second show of the season this month. Opening night for "Company" is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Ellicott Creek Playhouse (550 Ellicott Creek Road, Suite A, Tonawanda).
"Company" is a musical comedy about a man on the cusp of middle age mulling whether he should marry, and getting a wealth of conflicting advice from his friends and former lovers. The show runs through Nov. 24. General admission tickets are $17 advance, $20 at the door, with discounts for seniors and students, at niagaratheatre.com, or call the box office at 716-260-2319.
Short plays tackle 'Stigma!'
In the dim sum version of theatrical evenings, Inclusive Theatre of Western New York presents "Stigma!," a festival of short plays that cover an array of tastes. The seven pieces are intense with themes of suicide, PTSD, addiction and disabilities, among other things, according to the company, which has its its mission the advancement of artists from all backgrounds and abilities.
There are six performances: Nov. 8 to 10 and 15 to 17, at the Foundry (298 Northampton St.). Tickets are $10 through the company's website or at brownpapertickets.com. Titles include "Anything Is Probable (When you make up the rules)," by Michael Fanelli; "Food for Thought," by Cameron Market; "Headspace," by Quentin Gray and Chris Sposito; "Page Two," by Dave Goddard; "The Gun in the Room," by Katherine Parker; "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday," by Matt Boyle (that's my favorite title), and "The Opiod Zodiac," by Justin Karcher.
That last playwright, Justin Karcher, is getting a twofer this week, since the theater group Post-Industrial Productions is featuring him in its staged reading series, Post-Industrial-Plays-in-Progress. Actors will read two of Karcher's plays, "The Pop Culture Death Trap" and "How to Survive," in the unticketed event at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at Sugar City (1239 Niagara St.). Donations of $10 are suggested.
Also, opening on Nov. 13 is one of the first holiday shows of the season, MusicalFare's production of "Elf," a musical adapted from the movie of the same name. The comic tale of a human raised by Santa's helpers who heads south to find his father runs through Dec. 22. To find out more or for tickets, go to musicalfare.com.
For art's sake
A new show by Lewiston native Jacob Kassay, "Footage," opens with a free reception and artist talk from 8 to 11 p.m. Nov. 9 at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.). The exhibition continues through Dec. 21.
Kassay's conceptual art defy easy description. His media shift with his subjects, and include metals, woods, paint on canvas, glass, books and film. For "Footage," according to Hallwalls, Kassay created works using oriented strand board, used to layer distance in video games. "The actual and the depicted are collated onto a single plane in a process that will produce a schismatic appearance," according to the gallery. If you attend the opening reception or the Sunday brunch with the artist on Nov. 10 (from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; tickets for that are $30; $35 day-of), you might have Kassay explain to you exactly what that means.
Anastasia Komarova's show "The Shape of Time" also opens this week, with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 7 at Eleven Twenty Projects (1120 Main St.). The show runs through Dec. 13 and is the New York City artist's first solo exhibition. Looks for the mesh made of fishing line and straws, and other inspired use of media for "objects saturated with theological monumentality while maintaining underlying noumena, drawing a bridge between the grand wall murals .. of Sol LeWitt ... and the paintings of Rothko," according to Eleven Twenty.
And, at a free closing reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 8, viewers will have a last chance to see "Ink & Fiber," curated by Mirabo Press in the Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery at Villa Maria College (240 Pine Ridge Road). Curators and some of the artists represented in the show will be on hand to talk about the art.