Sounds of the City
Best bets for August 2017
Kiss performs at the Seneca Niagara Casino on August 19
Thursday, August 10
Robert Randolph and the Family Band @ Canalside: There aren't many pedal steel guitarists equally at home in Pentecostal churches and on secular jam band stages, but Randolph has made quite a career for himself bridging those two worlds.
Friday, August 11—Sunday, August 13
Slyfest @ the Heron: Buffalo's Slyboots School of Music and Art presents its twelfth annual festival of world music by homegrown and international acts, now in the picturesque setting of Sherman, N.Y.
Friday, August 11
The Chick Corea Elektrik Band and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones @ Chautauqua Institute: With thirty-seven Grammy Awards between them, these two bandleaders are truly giants of contemporary jazz, although that genre hardly begins to describe the variety of sounds their music encompasses.
Earth, Wind & Fire and Chic @ KeyBank Center: Alas, Maurice White, the mastermind and lifeblood of EW&F, passed away last year, but the hits are so solidly constructed that they're bound to thrill no matter who's performing them. On the bright side, this incarnation of Chic features guitarist and co-founder Niles Rodgers (the other key member, bassist Bernard Edwards, died in 1996), and his reputation continues to grow as subsequent generations of dance music acts embrace the elegance of his sound.
Saturday, August 12
Dwight Yoakam @ Artpark: Before "alt country" there was this postmodern Honky Tonk Man, who made 60s Bakersfield twang safe for rock and punk audiences starting in the early 80s. In subsequent decades he collaborated with his prime role model, Buck Owens, and later with Beck; turned to film work as actor and director; scored hits with unlikely covers; and released a bluegrass album—all of which bodes well for an eclectic and exciting night.
Sunday, August 13
David Kane's Them Jazzbeards @ Sportsmen's Tavern: Every appearance by this much-loved instrumental group of virtuoso performers tends to turn into a special event, so whether you're a longtime fan or a newbie, you're in for a fun night.
Thursday, August 17
Buffalo Tango Orkestra @ Artpark: Bandleader Moshe Shulman's ensemble plays Argentinian and other styles of tango as part of the park's "Nights on the [Mainstage Theater] Terrace" series.
Friday-Sunday, August 18-20
Response Performance Festival (Part One) @ various locations: Torn Space's annual combo of their own huge-scale site-specific work at Silo City (this year's offering is called The Gathering) and that of visiting artists and scholars in their home space at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle has grown to span two months; August brings Bastard, a solo for Slovak dancer Jaro Viňarský created by New York's Palissimo Company, and a talk by visiting professor Kimberly Jannarone about massive performance events. Stay tuned for Part Two, September 15-16.
Saturday, August 19
Arkells @ Artpark: These Canadian rockers have a devoted WNY following, so expect a large and enthusiastic crowd when they hit Lewiston. Blogger-approved Australian indie brother act Atlas Genius opens.
Kiss @ Seneca Niagara Casino: Gene Simmons has been hinting that the ultimate glam-metal band may be calling it quits eventually, so if seeing them in person (whether for the first or the fiftieth time) has been on your bucket list, this outdoor show may or may not be your last chance locally.
Monday, August 21
Jacques Pepin @ Chautauqua Institute: One of the original celebrity chefs—responsible for more than twenty-five cookbooks and fourteen television programs—gives a morning talk to whet the appetites of foodies far and wide.
Tuesday, August 22
Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson @ Artpark: The somewhat eccentric billing—evoking a fragrance line more than a band—serves as a reminder that the prog-rock hitmakers were once a separate entity from their flamboyant flute-playing frontman. There's no opening act, which raises hopes for one of the epic-length sets of old.
Thursday, August 24
Big Martha @ Sportsmen's Tavern: Pay your last respects to the late, great Gregg Allman with a set from this Allman Brothers cover band.
Saturday, August 26
Lea Bertucci @ Silo City: Squeaky Wheel's Summer 2017 artist-in-residence premieres a site-specific concert for saxophone quartet making use of the acoustic properties of the city's fabled grain elevators.
Sunday, August 27
Tonawanda City Porchfest @ various locations: The instantly lovable "porchfest" concept, in which area residents offer their front yards as pop-up venues for local musicians, started in Ithaca in 2007 and has spread around the country, taking root in the Elmwood Village several years ago. Now the City of Tonawanda gets in the act. Visit the Facebook page for the wheres and whens, then get ready for an afternoon of lovely surprises.
Ron Ehmke is a writer, performer, and media artist who is learn more about at everythingrondoes.com.