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This Week in Buffalo: History takes center stage

New development, new restaurants, new quarterbacks and new stadiums grab public attention and headlines.

Appreciating what's come before, however, is frequently just not as sexy, even if it often serves as the foundation for greater achievement.

The past is a theme that connects several worthy events for this week in Buffalo.

The Big 5 events

Celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Buffalo & Erie County Central Library (One Lafayette Square) in the Ring of Knowledge. Free.

Stop by the Central Library at lunchtime Thursday for a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, with Clifford "Brother" Bell serving as master of ceremonies and Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin and Mayor Byron Brown among the speakers. A performance by the Daughters of Creative Sound is on tap, too.

A year ago, News columnist Sean Kirst dug into one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s less-heralded speeches in Buffalo, when one of history's most dynamic agents of change was only 27 years old. It's an interesting read.

[Related: Bust in MLKJ Park is not supposed to look like King]

• • •

Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour: Derek & the Dominos, 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13 at Sportsmens Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Subscribers can buy presale tickets for $5, while general admission is $10. Fewer than 15 tickets remain.

Eric Clapton's run with Derek & the Dominos was short, but it produced "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs," the 1970 album Jeff Miers and Anita West will focus on Monday.

An impressive live band – featuring Todd Eberwine and Grace Lougen – will deliver their take on the classic album.

[Related: The Cars' self-titled debut to be featured at Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour on Feb. 10]

• • •

WNY Refugee Film Festival, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Journey's End (2495 Main St., Suite 530). The documentary repeats Friday in Shea's Smith Theatre. Tickets are $20 in advance.

Buffalo's cultural canvas has been enriched by Burmese refugees who've escaped oppression and war to begin new lives here.

"I am Rohingya: Genocide in Four Acts" is a play that evolved into a documentary, with 14 Rohingyan youths telling the stories of how their families fled from Burma.

Proceeds from the film series – which has sold out several previous gatherings – benefits Journey's End, a refugee resettlement agency in Buffalo.

• • •

InfoTech Winter Bash, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Hearth + Press (665 Main St.). Tickets are $15 for members in advance, or $25 at the door. For nonmembers, entry is $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Full details.

Partially thanks to startup culture and the multitude of fields requiring programming, data and analytics, tech culture in Buffalo is bustling.

InfoTech WNY – a consortium of tech organizations and professionals – is where ideas are shared and connections are made.

Admission includes appetizers and two drink tickets, and the University at Buffalo will have more than 100 students in attendance, too.

• • •

"The Shining" 40th anniversary screening, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Screening Room Cinema and Cafe (880 Alberta Drive in Boulevard Mall). Cost is $10.

Stanley Kubrick's horror film, based on Stephen King's novel, was restored in 4K just shy of its 40th anniversary, and Jack Nicholson and Co. will grace the Screening Room screen Thursday. Local band Rabbit Jaw will rev up the early arriving audience at 6 p.m. before the film begins at 7:30.

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Theater alert

Kavinoky Theatre's "The Bridges of Madison County" earned four stars in Anthony Chase's review from this past weekend, but a multitude of Buffalo theaters kicks off new productions of their own this weekend. Stay tuned for a list of opening plays coming Tuesday morning on BuffaloNews.com.

• • •

Bonus

Deep-Fried II: Comedy Showcase, doors at 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13 at Central Park Grill (2519 Main St.). Free to attend.

Senses of humor can bring warmth (or at least laughter) to a cold, dark season, and a dozen stand-up comedians will grab the mic at Central Park Grill for the monthly showcase. Don Johnson produces the show, which features Eric Basile as the host.

• • •

Female artist focus

Grace Stumberg and Megan Brown in tandem, 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13 at KO Bar and Grill (2263 Delaware Ave.). No cost.

See two excellent local female singer-songwriters perform together. Their powerful vocals and dedication to their craft could inspire the rest of your week. Pictured is Megan Brown, former lead singer of Dirty Smile, playing EdgeFest in 2014.

Cami Clune and Tommy's Acoustic Experience, 8:10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at 189 Burger (189 Main St., East Aurora). No cost.

Cami Clune's vocals will soar in tandem with acoustic guitar player Tommy Nowocien at live music hub 189 Burger in East Aurora. Enjoy a fresh hourlong set from the raised stage in the bar-restaurant's cozy atmosphere.

Musician/actress Cami Clune will play 189 Burger on Thursday in East Aurora. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Bobeck)

• • •

Grab bag of more events for this week

Cobblestone Live January series continues
3-2-1 Happy Hour for Buffalo Prep at 500 Pearl
College Night at the Ice at Canalside
Slime, Cocoa and Cookies for Girl Scouts
Literacy Superheroes at Westminster Charter
Conversation on Painting in Buffalo at Larkin Square
Jony James covers Jimi Hendrix at the Tralf
New Year, New Beer dinner at the Draft Room

5 events to look forward to this weekend

Winterfest at Chestnut Ridge
Women's March in Niagara Square
Mac Attack in 500 Pearl
Grown-Up Night of Play: Prohibition in Explore & More
Billy Joel Tribute in Buffalo Iron Works

Sold out: Two nights of Glorious Sons in Town Ballroom; AJR's rescheduled show in Shea's

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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